Innovative Solutions to Today's Health Care Challenges
The rising cost of health care is a concern for everyone – employers, employees and providers. To help curb these increases, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield is responding with innovative products. Whether your business has two employees or 2,000, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield can help provide you and your employees health insurance that is cost-effective. Below are some new health care solutions that may work for your business.
- BlueFund Consumer Directed Health Plans (CDH) - Here's an alternative to traditional health coverage that puts employees in the driver's seat. BlueFund combines a CareFirst health plan with an employer-funded "Health Reimbursement Arrangement " (HRA) or a "Health Savings Account" (HSA) to cover health care expenses.
This combination helps employees make their own decisions on their health-care spending with an incentive to rollover unspent funds. Online self-service tools and health and wellness information help support the management of their health care.
- Subsidized Health Plans for Maryland Small Businesses - Now there's a way for businesses with 2-9 employees to offer lower cost health insurance options. The Health Insurance Partnership, through the Maryland Health Care Commission, is a subsidy program that can offer employers up to 50% off the cost of health plan premiums.
The subsidy is available exclusively to employers who have not offered health insurance within the past year and who have met other eligibility requirements. CareFirst offers three subsidy-eligible products that include HSAs to assist employees in paying their out-of-pocket medical expenses on a tax-free basis. Please contact your broker for details. If you do not have a broker, you may contact CareFirst directly at (410) 998-7700 or (800) 933-1229.
- BlueVision and BlueVision Plus - Routine eye examinations can detect problems such as diabetes and glaucoma before symptoms occur. CareFirst is proud to introduce the BlueVision plan, which is included in CareFirst BlueChoice and BluePreferred medical plans. BlueVision offers eye exams and discounts on eyewear. BlueVision Plus, available at a nominal cost with all medical products, offers additional coverage, including the opportunity for your employees to receive a pair of glasses for a single copayment during each benefit period.
- BlueChoice Options - CareFirst has several options designed to help stabilize escalating health care costs, while encouraging members to be more responsible health care consumers. CareFirst BlueChoice offers HMO, HMO Open Access and Opt-Out Open Access, Opt-Out Plus Open Access options that feature in-network and out-of-network deductibles as well as out-of-network coinsurance on most services.
- BlueWorldwide Expat (BWE) - This plan provides participating Blues plans with comprehensive, fully-insured health care products for CareFirst employer groups with employees on extended global assignments. BWE provides reliable access to medical coverage worldwide and the peace of mind that employees seek related to health care abroad.
- Dental - According to employee surveys, dental coverage is one of the most desired benefits among employees. If you do not offer dental coverage, CareFirst has three dental plans: Traditional, Preferred (PPO) and Dental HMO - all with a wide range of design options and provider networks.
- Blue Selections - Employers have the flexibility to offer their employees a choice of health plans, in addition to other non-medical features. With Blue Selections, you can offer your employees a choice of up to three regional health plans for small groups (1-50) and up to four plans for large groups (50+), along with options such as Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) and Premium-Only Plan (POP). Blue Selections also offers dental, drug and vision coverage, plus voluntary group benefits such as life, disability, long-term care and pre-tax spending accounts.
- Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) - This is a value-added feature that allows your employees to set aside money on a pre-tax basis for expenses they know they will incur, such as health care or dependent care. This feature enhances the benefits package for your employees, while lowering your FICA taxes.Consider incorporating and FSA into your BlueFund HSA or HRA plan.
- Premium-Only Plan (POP) - This allows your employees to pay for their portion of employer-provided health, dental, disability and certain life insurance premiums on a pre-tax basis. With CareFirst’s Premium-Only Plan, you and your employees may realize tax savings.
CareFirst also offers a range of health plans such as health maintenance organization (HMO), preferred provider organization (PPO) and point-of-service (POS) plans.
For more information on these plans, please contact your broker or CareFirst sales representative.
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