December 2023 Insurance Information & News

Open Enrollment Season Is Here!

Open enrollment is a crucial time for employees to review their benefits options and make informed decisions that can significantly impact their financial well-being and overall health. Here are the key tips and strategies for employees during open enrollment:

  • Compare medical, dental and vision plan options.
  • Consider life, disability insurance.
  • Take advantage of savings, spending accounts.
  • Evaluate your retirement savings.

For more information, share this detailed article with your employees!

How To Engage Employees During Open Enrollment

  • Start Early and Communicate Clearly: Begin by providing comprehensive communication well in advance of open enrollment. Use various channels to reach employees.
  • Personalize the Messaging: Tailor the messaging to make it relevant to each employee’s needs and interests.
  • Utilize Engaging Communication Tools: Use videos, infographics, interactive platforms, or gamification to make the process more engaging.
  • Provide Clear and Concise Benefit Summaries: Simplify benefit information using plain language, visual aids, and charts.
  • Offer One-on-One Consultations: Provide personalized guidance to employees who have specific questions or concerns.

Cigna Eyes Medicare Advantage with Potential Humana Merger

Health insurance giants Cigna and Humana are in talks for a potential merger, creating a powerhouse in the industry. The companies are discussing a cash-and-stock deal worth around $140 billion. This would combine Cigna’s strength in commercial insurance with Humana’s dominance in Medicare, making them a major player in both areas. The deal could also help Cigna accelerate its value-based care initiatives and boost its Evernorth health services arm. However, antitrust concerns remain, and the Biden administration is likely to scrutinize the merger. Despite the challenges, a successful deal would be a major shakeup in the healthcare landscape and the biggest M&A deal of the year.

IBX: New Digital Health Experience

Independence Blue Cross is launching a new digital health experience for consumer (ACA) plan members on December 1, 2023. The new platforms, designed with a user-centered approach, offer enhanced capabilities such as Health Journeys, virtual care team, personalized reminders, and online appointment scheduling. Current IBX mobile app users will receive a push notification to download the new version. Commercial group plan members will have access to the new mobile app on December 1, 2023, and the new desktop/mobile web-browser platform on June 1, 2024. Read the full announcement here.

New PA Regulation Requires Complete Coverage for Autism Spectrum Disorder

The Pennsylvania Department of Insurance (PID) has issued a new bulletin requiring health insurance plans to provide complete coverage for autism spectrum disorders. This means that plans that offer any autism services must cover all aspects of the condition, including applied behavioral analysis (ABA) therapy. The bulletin also requires plans to classify autism spectrum disorders as mental health conditions for parity purposes. This means that plans cannot exclude coverage for autism or limit it to less common treatments. The new requirements must be implemented by all Pennsylvania health insurance issuers by January 1, 2024.

Compliance Corner: Horizon BCBSNJ Reverses Decision to Discontinue Issuing 1095-B Forms

Horizon previously announced that it would stop issuing 1095-B forms. However, that is no longer the case. The decision has been reversed and they will continue to issue the 1095 B form for both Level Select Small Employer and Midsize 51-99 markets in 2024 for the 2023 tax year.

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