WE’RE HERE TO SUPPORT EMPLOYERS

There’s nothing usual about doing business during a COVID-19 pandemic. And at Blue KC, we’re well aware of the challenges that our valued employer groups and their employees face. As your company continues to adapt to new work normals, we’re working to make sure you can answer your employees’ questions and concerns.

Download these FAQs to share with employees. You’ll also find more details below below.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Eligibility

Our company is reducing hours and/or laying off and/or furloughing staff due to COVID-19. Are we able to keep our employees covered on our Blue KC plan(s)?

Yes. Employees who were covered under your plan OR were in their waiting period as of March 1, 2020, would still be eligible to be covered under your Blue KC plan based on the following:

  • Employee is being paid OR is not being paid OR is receiving unemployment benefits AND;
  • Employer wants to continue providing health coverage AND;
  • Employer continues to subsidize the employee’s premium and maintains the same contribution strategy that was in place prior to March 1, 2020.
  • However, effective January 1, 2021, employees will be required to work 30 or more hours a week.

If I terminate an employee due to reduction in hours, can I waive the waiting period when the employee resumes working 30 or more hours?

Yes. If the employee was covered under your plan OR was in their waiting period as of March 1, 2020, they will be allowed to rejoin the plan once rehired without meeting waiting period requirements provided the employee returns to work prior to January 1, 2021. Any employee not covered under your plan or in their waiting period as of March 1, 2020, will be required to meet the employer waiting period defined in the group contract

I have reduced my employees’ hours and they are no longer able to afford their portion of the health insurance premium. Can they terminate coverage without a qualifying event?

We recommend you review your Section 125 plan. The Section 125 plan (i.e. flexible benefits plan or cafeteria plan) allows employees to make pre-tax payments for insurance premiums, but because it is tax-advantaged there are restrictions on when election changes are allowed.

Are there any restrictions on which provider/facility can administer the vaccine?

Yes, there are restrictions to administer the vaccine. The provider/facility is required to register with its state as an approved vaccinator, enroll as an approved vaccinator with the CDC and submit weekly reports as guided by CDC trainings. Some providers may not decide to become a vaccination site until a shelf stable vaccine is widely available to the public come summer/fall. Until that time, individuals should seek out other vaccinators through their public health website, hospital sign-up pages and state dashboards.

Plan

Our company would like to make changes to the plans we offer our employees. Are we allowed to make these changes before our renewal?

At this time, Blue KC only allows plan changes at the time of renewal.

Our company is terminating our plan. Are we required to give a 30-day term notice?

No, we do not require advance notice of a group terminating their plan. However, we suggest you contact your broker or Blue KC representative prior to terminating your plan to discuss what options you may have during this time.

Do you anticipate any change in timing of renewals, delivery of renewal rates responses to quote requests?

At this time, Blue KC does not anticipate any changes to our existing renewals schedule. Plan renewals are released 90 days prior to the renewal date, at which time plan changes are allowed and become effective on the renewal date.

Financial

Will Blue KC modify rates for changes in enrollment greater than 10 percent?

Blue KC reserves the right to re-rate based on an enrollment change greater than 10 percent. Decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis.

Can I make a payment using a credit card during this time?

Effective April 28, 2020, Blue KC is accepting credit card payments by phone using the Payeezy platform. Here are a few details to keep in mind:

  • Employers can contact the Blue KC Membership Team to process these payments by calling 816-395-2950.
  • All four major credit cards are accepted (American Express, Disscover, Visa and Mastercard).
  • Payments are limited to under $100,000.
  • Employers based in Missouri will be charged a credit card fee of 3.1 percent for American Express and 2.6 percent for all other card types.

Telehealth

What type of access and coverage do my employees have to telehealth or virtual care services during this time?

Urgent Care Visits and Behavioral Health Therapy visits provided through the Blue KC Virtual Care app are at no cost to Blue KC members until September 30, 2021. Download the app on the Apple App Store and Google Play or go to BlueKCVirtualCare.com. With increased use of virtual care, please understand the wait time may be longer.

In addition, until September 30, 2021 Blue KC members can see their in-network providers at no cost for virtual (face-to-face), telephone, email or test visits for medical services or behavioral health therapy. Some employers may have different contracts* with Blue KC which may affect your coverage levels. Please call the customer service number on the back of your Blue KC membership card with questions.

*Minimum Premium/Cost-Plus and Large Group ASO

Important: Cost sharing still applies to physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy.

Coverage

What else is Blue KC doing to help my employees get the treatment and care they need during this time?

Effective April 1, 2020 and until September 30, 2021, Blue KC is waiving cost sharing and copayments for inpatient hospital admissions due to the diagnosis of COVID-19 for individuals fully insured by Blue KC. Some employers may have different contracts* with Blue KC which may affect your coverage levels. Please call the customer service number on the back of your Blue KC membership card with questions.

*Minimum Premium/Cost-Plus and Large Group ASO

A Healthier You

How can employers give incentive to employees to get the vaccine?

We are currently encouraging all employer groups and brokers to review allowable incentive requirements with their legal teams to ensure compliance with applicable legislation. A Healthier You (AHY) will launch COVID-19 health actions (by group based on vaccine availability), which will award individual points for completing each dose within the series. Individuals can use those points to enter into our monthly sweepstakes program for a chance to win digital gift cards.

If the health department does not file claims with Blue KC, how will members receive AHY points, etc.?

A Healthier You offers all individuals access to complete the Health Action Credit Form to award compliance and points for the COVID-19 health action if claims data is not received by our system.

Other resources for employers

As you manage your business during the COVID-19 pandemic, you may find the following information helpful. Here you’ll find links to local and national organizations and medical associations.


Blue KC Resources



Important: The information on this page should not be taken as tax or legal advice and we urge you to consult with your own benefits, tax and legal advisors on all these matters. We also encourage you to contact your broker or Blue KC representative to discuss the information below, since group-specific benefit exceptions may apply due to custom plans or other special circumstances.