Blue Cross Blue Shield and Texas Health Resources Negotiations
As you may have heard on the local news, Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) of Texas is in negotiations with Texas Health Resources and Texas Health Physicians Group (Texas Health) for a contract renewal for 2017.
This afternoon (December 22, 2016), we have just learned that these negotiations affect active HealthFlex participants, too, even though we are covered by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois. BCBS has informed Wespath that their contracts with Texas Health Resources and Texas Health Physicians Group (Texas Health) are set to expire on December 31, 2016. While negotiations are ongoing and terms can even be reached into 2017, there is the possibility of disruption of in-network coverage.
Attached is a letter from BCBS of Illinois explaining the situation and our options.
You can log on to Blue Access for members for personalized search results on doctors and hospitals. (You can set this up through WebMD if you have not already done so.)
You can also keep up with the status of the negotiation process online at bcbstx.com/standingupforyou.
PLEASE log on to this site! It has helpful information in the questions section. We’ve attached a list of Texas Health facilities affected by the negotiations and this list is on the bcbstx.com/standingupforyou website.
Both of these options are referenced in the attached letter. We believe you can also call the BCBS number on the back of your insurance card to see if your particular health care provider, hospital, or outpatient services site will be covered in-network or not in January 2017. (Of course, you can still go to any health care provider but you may be billed out-of-network rather than in-network.)
Another place to check to see if your physicians are impacted is at this link: https://www.thpg.org/pages/home.aspx
Another helpful link is to the Texas Health Resources FAQ, answering questions relative to Texas Health and current negotiations: https://www.texashealth.org/Pages/Blue-Cross-Info.aspx?utm_source=bcbs-redirect&utm;_medium=print&utm;_campaign=bcbs
We are confident this is not the email you want to receive, but we want to keep you informed in case you have medical needs in early January. Of course, in the case of emergencies just go to the nearest
healthcare provider and/or facility! And, we, too, are remaining hopeful for a last minute negotiation so that we will not experience any disruptions in our personal health care providers.
Our office is closed at the end of today (December 22, 2016) and will not open until January 3, 2017; so if you have questions during this time period, please call the Blue Cross Blue Shield number on your health insurance card; or use (or set up) your Blue Access online presence. Again, use the bcbstx.com/standingupforyou website for up-to-the-date information on the contract negotiations.
2017 HealthFlex Exchange Plans and Support Documents
The North Texas Annual Conference participates in HealthFlex, the health benefits program of the Wespath, formerly the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits of The United Methodist Church. All full-time clergy appointed to local churches within the conference or as District Superintendents or to the conference staff (ordained elders, deacons in full connection, deacons on track to become elders, commissioned persons on track to become elders or deacons, full-time local pastors, members of other conferences or denominations appointed according to Paragraphs 346.1 or 346.2) are required to be enrolled in the conference health insurance plan and their respective church or salary paying unit is responsible for the premium for the appointee. Coverage for spouses and dependents is optional, and the premium for an appointee’s spouse and dependents is the responsibility of the appointee.
New This Year
C2000 is the Default Plan
The North Texas Conference “default” plan is the CDHP C2000. THIS IS NOT THE SAME PLAN AS LAST YEAR! One of the features of this plan is that there is no co-pay but 100% of the doctor bill is personally owed until the deductible is met. The C2000 has a built-in Health Reimbursement Account (HRA), but will not have dental or expanded vision. You can read about the C2000 plan in the documents below.
If you do not choose to enroll in your health insurance plan during open enrollment, you will be automatically enrolled in the plan you selected in 2016. (This includes any dental and vision elections you may have made, but it does not include any Medical Reimbursement Accounts you may have set up for 2016. The MRA accounts will default to 0.)
If you are enrolled in the B1000 plan in 2016 and hope to continue in that plan in 2017, it will cost you an extra $17 a month ($204 annually) that must be paid as a personal salary deduction each month.
OPEN ENROLLMENT IS NOVEMBER 2-17, 2016, for the 2017 HealthFlex plan.
Another Vision Plan Choice
A Premier Plan with VSP has been added this year. All of our participants receive at no extra charge Exam Core. Participants can now, for an additional cost, add in one of two additional plans: Full-Service or Premier.
- HealthFlex Exchange At-A-Glance
- Participant Brochure
- 2017 HealthFlex Medical Plan Comparisons
- Dental Plan Comparisons
- Vision Plan Comparisons
- HRA, HSA, FSA Comparisons
- Decision Support At-A-Glance
- Decision Support-Key Considerations
- 2017 HealthFlex Rate Chart
Affordable Care Act
- Health Care Reform for UMC Local Churches (Notice Summary)
- New Health Insurance Marketplace Coverage Options and Your Health Coverage —
- Helpful Hints
- Optional Letter for Churches to Mail to Clergy/Lay Employees
2017 Health and Pension Insurance Information
Center for Health Newsletters
- Prediabetes Frequently Asked Questions for Non-HealthFlex Participants
- Prediabetes Frequently Asked Questions for HealthFlex Participants
- Diabetes Prevention Resources
- Reversing Prediabetes-Congregational Tips
- General Board of Pension and Health Benefits
- Health Benefits Online
- BlueCross BlueShield
- Vision Service Plan (VSP)
- United Behavioral Health – Mental Health Services
- Virgin Pulse
- Fitbit Alternative to the Virgin Pulse Pedometer
- Weight Watchers
- HealthFlex Debit Card
- Flexible Spending Accounts
- HealthFlex Web MD
- Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
- Wage Works Claim Form
Health Insurance Payment
- Scan the completed health insurance invoice with specified amounts entered on appropriate lines
- E-mail the completed invoice to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Log in here to remit payments online
- You may remit payments online or mail a check along with a copy of the completed health insurance invoice to:
North Texas Conference
P.O. Box 866128
Plano, TX 75086
Remit Health Insurance Payment