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Big upgrades for small employers

Better rates. Better technology. Better health.

Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield and Health Advantage are better than ever for small employers. In 2020, you’ll see better rates, improved underwriting processes and new, innovative plan features to help improve health and lower rates. And we’re continuing to make Total Enrollment Solutions (TES) an easier way to enroll and renew benefits.

Better Rates
You’re looking to save your clients money on healthcare costs while keeping their employees healthy. Our 2020 rates are shaping up to be competitive. And we’re committed to ensuring they’re reliable so you know what to expect when you quote Arkansas Blue Cross and Health Advantage. We’re also including new, money-saving features so that we’re always the smart investment for your small-business clients.

Better Technology
Updates to TES make quoting, enrolling and renewing a group easier than it’s ever been.

  • Dual option: TES now supports dual-option plans for new groups. Small employers who have previously been excluded from TES can now be quoted and enrolled with dual options. This improvement will allow brokers to move more of their book of business onto TES.
  • Evergreen renewal: Effective January 1, 2020, Arkansas Blue Cross and Health Advantage will be issuing evergreen renewal contracts. More information to come!

At the end of the day, we want it to be easier to do business with us. That’s why we’re reviewing all of our underwriting rules for small group and making improvements to our processes. Underwriting updates include:

  • New group submission deadline: Now you can write a new client up until the last day of the month, rather than the 20th of the month. We encourage you to still get your group enrollment submitted by the 20th to ensure that ID cards as early as possible.
  • My Blueprint Registrations: Employees can now register for My Blueprint sooner using their Social Security numbers – giving them immediate access to their electronic ID card.
  • Less-than-one-year improvement: Clients that have been in business less than one year can now enroll—on TES—as long as they upload a valid wage & tax form.

Off-anniversary changes: In the past, off-anniversary changes meant your clients had to change their effective date too. Now, when a change is made off anniversary, we’ll let your client decide whether to keep their effective date or not.

  • Six-month rule: We no longer make your clients who canceled their coverage with us wait six months before they can enroll in another Arkansas Blue Cross or Health Advantage health plan. For groups that left in good standing, the six-month rule has been eliminated.
  • Administrative changes letter: We no longer require a letter from your client. Either client or broker can request a change by email or letter.

Better Health Advantage
There’s a new Health Advantage, focused on improving the care our members receive. Health Advantage isn’t just a payer, it’s jointly owned by a health system and plans on doing more to improve the health of members and change the way healthcare is delivered in Arkansas.

Better statewide health

  • Diabetes management: Onduo is a new diabetes management program that uses everyday technology to help employees with diabetes lower their A1c and live healthier. We’ve added it to our small group plans to give employers another tool to manage costs and improve health. With Onduo, employees with type 2 diabetes can access more tools, coaching and clinical support to take control of their condition. All at no additional cost.
  • Feeding local communities: Nutrition is one of the social determinants of good health, and unfortunately, Arkansas ranks No. 1 in the nation for food insecurity. In 2018, our company provided more than 1 million meals to food banks across the state in an effort to help close that gap. In 2019, we continued to stock food pantries with nutritious meals and did it with the help of our members and communities throughout the state.

Better than ever
We’re excited about all of the upgrades to small group. At Arkansas Blue Cross and Health Advantage, we want to be the first place you consider when writing small group business. Talk to your Arkansas Blue Cross agent-broker representative to let us know how we can continue to improve or with any questions about this year’s upgrades.

It’s our hope the better rates, better technology and better health will make your job easier and Arkansas Blue Cross and Health Advantage your best choice.