Dickerson Update, December 17 – Anthem and Blue Shield Extended SEP, Covered CA Extends OE, Choice Builder’s Big News, Carrier Vaccine Responses

Anthem’s new Whole Health Plans enhance delivery of care: one rate and one plan covers vision, dental, and medical pediatric and adult care

Anthem is dedicated to improving member health outcomes, which is why they decided to extend the Special Enrollment Period (SEP) deadline, offer new Whole Health plans, provide an enhanced Rx Choice Tiered Network, and unveil a new Site of Service benefit.

We’re happy to be able to share more information on these exciting new developments just in time to welcome a new year!

SEP Deadline Extension

Due to the new shelter in place orders, Anthem decided to extend the Special Enrollment SEP submission cut-off date until noon December 30, 2020. The effective date for SEP groups will be January 1, 2021.

During the SEP, participation and contribution requirements will not be enforced, but all other small group eligibility requirements must be met.  Please be sure to submit clean cases with all necessary information to avoid delays.

As a reminder, Anthem will be closed on December 31, 2020, so get your Anthem cases submitted today!

Whole Health Plan

Finding a health plan that covers overall health can be hard to find, especially one that combines dental and vision coverage. That’s why Anthem decided to embed dental, vision, and medical into one enhanced plan that covers both pediatric and adult care. By bundling plans with the Whole Health Plan, Anthem is helping both employees and their children form good habits that improve their health, thus lowering costs in the long run.

And having an embedded plan that covers every base means that there is ONE plan/contract code, ONE enrollment process, and ONE affordable rate.

On these plans, pediatric dental is not subject to the medical deductible like it is on Anthem’s non-Whole Health plans.

To learn more about this new offering, check out this flyer.

RX Choice Tiered Network

Anthem provides members options, convenience, and savings when they fill prescriptions. Through the Rx Choice Tiered Network, members can select a pharmacy from two levels of coverage, which helps them save money.

With Level 1 pharmacies, the copay is lower while with Level 2 pharmacies, the copay is higher.

Click here to view a flyer with more detail on the Rx Choice Tiered Network.

New Site of Service Benefit

Anthem’s new Site of Service benefit is included in all 2021 Small Group plans, and it can help members save thousands of dollars when they seek care from lower-cost independent providers listed in the Find Care tool.

Employees can log onto anthem.com/ca and search for providers for the following services:

  • Lab Tests
  • Radiology & Advanced Diagnostic Imaging
  • Outpatient Surgery

Anthem created an extremely helpful flyer with detailed information on the Site of Service Benefit. Click here to view it.

For more information on all of these updates from Anthem, contact your Dickerson Account Executive.

Blue Shield extends SEP deadline

We’re happy to share that Blue Shield also decided to extend the deadline for the SEP!

The submission cutoff deadline for SEP groups is now December 31st, 2020.

Remember to submit clean cases to avoid any delays.

Time is running out, so be sure to contact your Dickerson Account Executive for assistance submitting your Blue Shield cases on time.

Covered California issues correction notices for February 2021 Blue Shield renewal groups

Due to a technical error that reflected an incorrect 2020 Plan Year gross premium for employees enrolled in a Blue Shield of California plan, Covered California issued correction notices for February 2021 Blue Shield renewal groups.

Covered California applied a one-time, 10% credit to the gross premium of employees enrolled in a Blue Shield medical plan on employers’ December 2020 invoice. The 2021 gross premium that appeared on the Renewal Packet was correct.

Employer groups impacted by this mistake will receive a corrected version of the February 2021 Covered California for Small Business Renewal Packet by mail. Impacted groups also received email communication regarding this issue.

For more information, please contact your Dickerson Account Executive.

ChoiceBuilder is expanding and is now offering options for Big Groups!

As of March 1st, you will now be able to offer ChoiceBuilder to multiple-sized groups of up to 500 employees. These new options will include 8 carriers and 36 Plan Options with affordable rates, simple premiums, and straightforward underwriting guidelines.

Here is a summary of the ChoiceBuilder updates going into effect on March 1, 2021:

Administrative Changes

  • Expanded group size from 2 – 199 employees to 2 – 500 employee
  • Added 200-500 group size Administrative Fee ($50)

Dental Insurance

  • Ameritas – Added a 200-500 group size rating bucket (same rates as the 5-199 group size)
  • Anthem Blue Cross – No change, extended current 101-199 group size to 101-500
  • Delta Dental® – Changed to group size rating, 2-99, 100-199 and 200-500 group sizes (new rates for the 200-500 group size)
  • DeltaCare® USA – Changed to group size rating, 2-99, 100-199 and 200-500 group sizes (new rates for the 200-500 group size)
  • MetLife – Added a 200-500 group size rating bucket (same rates as the 100-199 group size)See attached 3.21 CB Rate Guide v2 (Excel and PDF)

Vision, Chiropractic & Acupuncture

  • No changes to report at the time.

Life Insurance

  • Added 200-500 group size for guarantee issue amount and group size discount
  • Guarantee issue amount – $10,000-$150,000
  • Group size discount – 25%

For more information, check out this flyer.

Please contact your Dickerson Account Executive if you have any additional questions.

Depend on Dickerson to provide you carrier information and updates regarding COVID-19 vaccinations

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted Emergency Use Authorization to Pfizer for its new COVID-19 vaccine. The pandemic upended life as we knew it and has left many to cope with loss and pain. With a new year around the corner, a vaccine is a promising step in returning to the state of normalcy we once knew.

When stay-at-home orders rolled out at the beginning of the year and carriers began sharing how they would respond to COVID-19, Dickerson immediately built out a trusted COVID-19 resource hub for out broker partners to be able to turn to should they have questions regarding the deluge of changes and updates that came flooding in from day to day.

And we’re committed to sharing carrier vaccination guidelines as they come in a centralized location to you so you don’t have to worry about doing the work.

Please be sure to visit our COVID-19 Resource Hub, which now has the COVID-19 vaccine information our carrier partners have released.

For more information, contact your Dickerson Account Executive.

CoveredCA extends deadline for Open Enrollment to December 30th for January 1st coverage

CoveredCA recently announced they will extend the deadline to enroll in health coverage for a January 1st effective date to December 30th. To be effective by January 1st, you have to enroll in CoveredCA and make your first payment by December 30th. Open enrollment ends on January 31, 2021.

If you require additional information or assistance with enrollment, please contact Sally Saracay (sally@dickerson-group.com). 

L.A. Care and Optum (Healthcare Partners) continuing partnership with no interruption

Dickerson is happy to share that Optum (Healthcare Partners) will continue to be contracted with L.A. Care without disruption in the L.A. Care Covered (LACC) program!

The LACC contract with Optum was set to expire effective 3/1/2021. However, Optum will continue to be in the LACC network into 2021!

This is great news for existing LACC members, as they will be able to renew coverage with LACC and be able to request a new provider assignment under Optum.

Here are some pertinent details to keep in mind regarding this update:

  • Effective immediately, there will be no interruption of Optum network access
  • Renewals that have not made a change (PPG/PCP) will remain with Optum
  • Since provider panels are not open, new provider selection, can occur after Monday, 12/21
  • Covered California’s website will not be updated until early January
  • L.A. Care will send out member communications by end of this week (12/18)

For more information, please contact Sally Saracay. Email sally@dickerson-group.com.

Dickerson News Update

COVID-19 has now become the leading cause of death in the United States as over 300k people have died from it 

Over 300,000 people have died from COVID-19 in the United States. Coronavirus has been the leading cause of death in the United States for the past two weeks, beating heart disease and cancer. The news of the vaccine provides a glimmer of hope, but even before it is widely circulated to the population, projections show that the United States will reach half a million deaths by spring.

Experts do believe that some of these deaths could be avoided by simply wearing masks and physical distancing. No other country has reached this alarmingly high death toll other than the United States. Concerns regarding COVID-19 are valid as Blacks and Latinos are nearly three times more likely to die from COVID-19.

To read the full story, click here.


A second vaccine from Moderna is under review by the FDA

The United States reached a turning point in its gruesome battle against COVID-19 as it started administering the approved Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine on Tuesday. Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine is currently under review by the FDA with promising results and is expected to be approved soon.

A panel of experts believes that the Moderna vaccine could be approved as early as Thursday. The vaccine utilizes the same technology, but doesn’t require freezing temperature storage. The news comes as a relief to exhausted healthcare workers as the United States passed a death toll of 300,000 on Monday. Unfortunately, experts are still cautious as travel and family gatherings will increase due to the holidays. The Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine arrived at 400 hospitals and distribution sites on Tuesday and is being administered to front-line healthcare workers and nursing home patients.

Click here to read the full story.