Recommended Changes to 2022 Annual Conference
The Insurance Committee report to the 2022 Annual Conference (Annual Conference Workbook page 53) includes recommended changes to the conference insurance plan design, benefits, and costs.
A conference-wide Zoom session was held on Friday, May 27, at 12:00 p.m. to discuss this recommendation and answer questions from conference members. A recording of the session is available for reference.
- Insurance Plans Recommended Changes – Zoom session outline
- HealthFlex Plan Comparisons – details about the HealthFlex plan benefits
- Frequently Asked Questions – will be updated as questions arrive – send us yours at firstname.lastname@example.org.
JOIN US on Tuesday, June 7 at 12:00 pm for an in-depth look at all the HealthFlex Plan options and a Q&A time with the Wespath Health Benefits Team. Register for the HealthFlex Webinar to receive the connection details.
Mental Health First Aid training now available
Wespath is offering no-cost Mental Health First Aid training for all Wespath participants and their spouses, Church leaders, and congregation members. Mental Health First Aid teaches how to identify, understand and respond with empathy to people struggling with mental health issues—it can help with one’s own mental well-being or help be more prepared to support others. Visit the Mental Health First Aid webpage to learn more. Please make time to attend and share widely to encourage others in the UMC community to attend as well.
Additional Mental Health Programs
Here are more well-being programs and additional resources that can assist those who are coping with mental or behavioral health stressors or conditions:
Top 5 myths about mental health issues
What’s the difference between a psychologist, counselor and clinical social worker? We’ll explain.
Recognizing and Coping with Stress
COVID-19 Over-the-Counter Test Coverage
Members of the NC Conference health insurance plan have coverage for eight (8) approved over-the-counter (OTC) tests each month, beginning January 15, 2022, and continuing through the current public health emergency. These tests do not have to be ordered by a doctor and can be self-administered and self-read at home.
Members who present their Blue Cross NC member ID card at an in-network pharmacy counter will pay no out-of-pocket costs when purchasing an eligible (i.e. be FDA-approved or have Emergency Use Authorization (EUA)) test kit. Members who purchase tests without their Blue Cross NC prescription drug card at an out-of-network pharmacy or other retailer can pay out of pocket and mail an OTC test claim form to our pharmacy benefit manager, Prime, for reimbursement.
Reimbursement for test kits purchased from out-of-network pharmacies and retailers is limited to no more than $12 per individual test. To be reimbursed, the test must be FDA-approved or have EUA. Members are eligible to receive up to eight (8) OTC COVID-19 tests per month for reimbursement. Each test is counted separately regardless of how many tests are sold in one package.
When submitting a claim to be reimbursed, members must mail a:
- Completed OTC COVID-19 test claim form
- Purchase receipt documenting the date of purchase and the price of the test
- The test’s UPC code
Upon receipt of the required materials, Prime will issue a reimbursement check, typically within 21 days. Depending on volume, additional time may be needed for processing. Most Blue Cross NC members should not need reimbursement for their OTC COVID-19 tests. If members present their Blue Cross NC member ID card at an in-network pharmacy counter, they will pay no out-of-pocket costs.
Free COVID-19 tests are available at covidtests.gov.
Identity Protection Services from Experian & BCBS
As an added benefit of the NC Conference Health Plan, BCBS is making identity protection services from Experian available to eligible members and their dependents. There is no cost for these services as long as the member and dependent are enrolled in the conference health plan. Conference members who are enrolled only in the dental and/or life insurance plans are not eligible. Services include credit monitoring, internet surveillance, identity restoration, child monitoring, and more. Enrollment is required. Refer to this Flyer for enrollment instructions and FAQ for more details.
Rally Reward Program and Health Assessment
BCBS has implemented a new online platform for taking the health assessment called Rally. Members can still access the assessment through blueconnectnc.com > click on Wellness > click on Go To Wellness Portal. A new sign-up to the Rally system will need to be created. Taking the health assessment once a year earns a $50 cash rebate through the NC Conference Wellness INcentive (WIN) program! Be sure to save the completion confirmation page at the end of finishing the survey. Members can take the survey more than once per year to monitor their own progress toward their healthy living goals. The cash rebate must be verified after completion and will be paid only once per year.
Through Rally members can also earn rewards from BCBS. Earn coins by participating in the Rally portal activities, challenges, and taking the health assessment. Fun ways to use the coins include entering sweepstakes for prizes, discounts on popular wellness items, or bid coins in auctions for gift cards or merchandise.
Access a Digital Member ID Card
At the start of a new plan year, it’s especially important for you to present your new health insurance ID card each time you see a provider or fill a prescription. This ensures your claims process just as they should, according to your plan benefits.
We want to make sure you have access to your policy information, should your ID cards be delayed.
Fortunately, if you don’t have your ID card in-hand, you can access a digital ID card using the Blue Connect mobile app.
- Members already registered in Blue Connect: Members can log into Blue Connect to view their new 2022 ID card and plan information.
- Members not registered in Blue Connect: If members don’t yet have a Blue Connect account, they do NOT need an active ID card in hand to register for Blue Connect. Existing members can register using their 2021 subscriber ID. New members who have not yet received a Blue Cross NC ID card can use an alternate registration process to register (shown in the attached registration guide).
Telehealth Will Save You Time and Money!
The vendor for our telehealth service is changing from MDLive to Teledoc next year. Members who used MDLive for telehealth services through December 31, 2021, can simply discontinue using that app for their telehealth services after that date. Members interested in continuing to use telehealth services should wait until after January 1, 2022, to set up their Teledoc account. A Welcome Kit from Teledoc will be mailed to all members. This kit will provide instructions on how to set up their account after January 1, 2022.
Telehealth services give you access to board-certified doctors and specialists anytime, anywhere for common, non-emergency conditions. Your telehealth doctor can even send a prescription to the nearest pharmacy, if necessary. Conditions treated include:
- general medical issues such as sinus infections, fevers, cold and flu, sports injuries, etc.
- behavioral health issues such as grief, stress, depression, and anxiety
- dermatology issues like minor cuts, rashes, psoriasis, and eczema.
The NC Conference is offering this service to participants FREE of charge! There will be no co-pay fees charged to NC Conference BCBS health plan participants for consulting with any doctor using Teledoc. Visits are unlimited!
Notice for FSA Participants
You may have unclaimed balances available in your Flexible Spending Account (FSA). Please read this notice in its entirety. An unclaimed balance may arise from either or both the 2020 and/or 2021 FSA contributions. Typically, FSAs are a use-it-or-lose-it benefit plan, meaning that you lose the money you contributed if you don’t claim it for reimbursement by the end of the traditional grace period. Also typically, you cannot change your election mid-year without also having a qualified change in your status.
However, the recently passed Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (“Act”) provides increased flexibility for Medical and Dependent Care FSAs. Our plan has adopted the outlined changes below under the Act with the ultimate goal of assisting participants who might have otherwise lost their contributions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
12-Month Extension of Grace Period for Medical and Dependent Care FSAs
The grace period for both our Medical and Dependent Care FSA for the plan years ending in 2020 and 2021 is extended to 12 months after the end of each plan year. You can incur eligible medical expenses and eligible dependent care expenses dated within a 12-month period after the end of the plan year (versus the traditional grace period of 2 1/2 months after the end of the plan year) and claim those expenses for reimbursement from your unused balances. For example, if you have an unused balance from 2020, you can still incur expenses dated through December 31, 2021, and claim them for reimbursement against your 2020 balance. After this period of temporary relief, the plan’s Medical and Dependent Care FSA grace period will return to the 2 1/2 month grace period.
Election Changes Without a Change in Status
For the plan year ending in 2021, you can make prospective election changes (i.e., enroll, discontinue, increase or decrease your contribution amount) to modify your Medical and/or Dependent Care FSA contributions without a change in status. Note, this does not apply to benefits other than Medical and Dependent Care FSAs.
What should you do next?
1. Log into your ProBenefits account to check your balance. You can access your account through the webportal or by downloading their mobile app.
2. Look for any qualified expenses that you have already or will incur between January 1, 2020 and December 31, 2021. Submit a claim to ProBenefits for reimbursement of those expenses. Claims can be submitted faxing/emailing this Claims Form to ProBenefits or by uploading photos of the receipts through the mobile app. Claims for 2020 must be submitted by December 31, 2021. Claims for 2021 must be submitted by December 31, 2022.
3. Consider your current 2021 election and email the Benefits Team if you want to make any prospective changes.
We hope this notice helps you make the most of your FSA benefit. Let us know if you have any questions.
Will Preparation Services for Participants in the Supplemental Life Insurance Option
Virtually everyone needs a will. Without a will, a person’s assets are generally distributed according to state law, regardless of his/her actual intentions. Having a will prevents unnecessary stress, ensures your final wishes are clear and is an ultimate way to express your care to your loved ones. Enrollees in the Conference’s Supplemental Life Insurance plan through MetLife, can take advantage of Will Preparation services. These services provide access to a network of attorneys who prepare and update wills, living wills and powers of attorney. You may also use a non-participating attorney and receive reimbursement for covered services according to a set fee schedule.
Blue Cross Blue Shield Benefits
2022 Base Summary of Benefits
2022 Buy-Up Summary of Benefits
Life Insurance Benefits
BASIC Church-paid Benefit
SUPPLEMENTAL Life Insurance Option
Post-Retirement Insurance Policies History
See the Insurance Plan History document for an historical account of the policies affecting post-retirement insurance benefits.