Preparing to Serve Our Members in 2018
A Message from Our President
Oct. 16, 2017
Open enrollment marks that time of year when millions of people are making important decisions about their health care coverage. The last few months have been full of activity and as the debate on health care continues, one thing remains constant: our commitment to expanding access to affordable health coverage to Texans in a variety of situations and stages in their lives.
That’s why Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) is proud to once again offer plans to all Texans whether they get their coverage at work, through the individual marketplace or a government program.
During open enrollment, we focus on providing information to our members when and where they need it, with greater transparency, choice and flexibility in their care. We’re ready to help members choose the coverage that best meets their needs.
- We’re offering a variety of products and member benefits. In 2018, members can choose from a variety of individual plan options – both on and off the exchange – in every county across Texas. We’ll also help our Medicare members identify the plan that best meets their needs, and our members who get coverage through their employer will once again have a variety of products, choices and benefits to choose from.
- We'll be with you through it all. Health care is complex, and we’re here to make sure it works for you. BCBSTX customer service and product specialists, community education teams and our suite of digital tools and resources – such as virtual visits, the enhanced BCBSTX mobile app, or our virtual assistant Jordyn – are available to assist members make more informed health care decisions.
- Making the health care system work for our members. There’s a lot going on behind the scenes at BCBSTX to make the health care system work better. We’re investing in systems, research and strategic partnerships to ensure our members have access to the best care from top quality networks of doctors and hospitals.
As we continuously fine tune HOW we do business – how we sell, enroll and provide customer service during open enrollment – we always remember that our members are WHY we do business. Whether you choose BCBSTX directly through us, through the individual marketplace, a broker or your employer, our priority is to make sure you have the tools and resources you need to make the best decisions about coverage and use your care effectively.
Dr. Dan McCoy
President, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas
Recent UpdatesMedicare and Medicaid Updates
Navigating Medicare Annual Election Period
Oct. 16, 2017
The Medicare Annual Election Period (AEP) is now under way, and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) is proud to again offer a variety of health coverage options centered around optimized networks, flexibility and affordability.
During AEP, which runs from Oct. 15 through Dec. 7, Medicare-eligible customers can sign up for a plan or make changes to their current coverage. We know that choosing a health care plan can be hard. That’s why BCBSTX is committed to helping you understand your options and pick the best coverage for your unique needs.
Plan benefit and network information for 2018 BCBSTX Medicare plans is now available at www.bcbstx.com/medicare. We also have dedicated Medicare experts ready by phone at 1-877-213-1821, every day from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. to answer questions and offer personalized enrollment help. Or, you can find a licensed, approved BCBSTX agent in your area at www.bcbstx.com/medicareagents.
Need more help? Find an educational seminar in your area at www.bcbstx.com/medicare/seminars.
Our top priority is providing access to care for our Medicare members to help them get and stay healthy. We’re here as a resource for you each step of the way through AEP and beyond.
Recent Notice about Updates to Our Individual Health Plan Options
Oct. 02, 2017
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas is proud to again offer a variety of health plan options for individuals and families in every county of Texas in 2018. For 2018, we’ve simplified our health plan options to make them easier for you to review and select the coverage that best meets your needs.
While our plans will have fewer options at each metallic level, we’ve worked to make sure you get the same quality of benefits you expect from BCBSTX. There won’t be any major changes to our provider networks.
You may have received a legally-required notice informing you that you’ll need to select a new individual plan for 2018. There’s nothing you need to do right now. To help make the transition as seamless as possible we’ve taken the step of identifying a recommended plan that is similar to your current coverage. You will be automatically enrolled in this similar plan, or you can select any plan from our 2018 offering during the Open Enrollment period, which runs from Nov. 01, through Dec. 15, 2017.
Details on all 2018 plan options will be included in an enrollment package each member will get in the mail before open enrollment. We understand you may have questions, and we’re committed to helping you find the plan that best meets your needs. We have increased the number of sales and customer service representatives during open enrollment to offer support throughout the enrollment process.
You can reach a Customer Advocate at the number listed on the back of your BCBSTX member ID card Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. (Central Time), 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. (Central Time) on Saturdays and 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. (Central Time) on Sundays. You can also check this webpage for further updates.
2018 Individual Market Participation Update
Sept. 27, 2017
BCBSTX is proud to announce that we will continue to offer consumers health insurance options both on and off the individual marketplace in 2018. Specific plan, network and benefit information will be available closer to the open enrollment period that begins on Nov. 01, 2017.
We remain committed to working with lawmakers, regulators, providers and the entire health care system to ensure a stable, sustainable individual marketplace and to improve the quality and cost of care for all our members.
Update for Our Small Business Customers
Oct. 02, 2017
As we're preparing to sell 2018 plans and service our clients, small group employers who currently offer BCBSTX coverage to their employees through the Small Business Health Options Program (“SHOP”) will receive notifications that BCBSTX will not participate on the SHOP exchange, effective Jan. 1, 2018; however, it's important to know that members currently enrolled in a SHOP plan will have coverage through the full term of the existing contract.
We are also sending letters to employers and members to let them know that certain off-exchange small group plans as well as other group plans are being discontinued. Federal regulations require that small group plans must be discontinued if they are significantly modified.
We will continue to serve the Small Group Market with an array of robust off-exchange plans that enable employers in Texas to continue offering quality, cost-effective coverage from BCBSTX.