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California Carrier Partner Updates

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Here is an overview of updates from our California carrier, health plan, and administrator partners. For details, click on the related link (if any).

Bonus Updates

  • Aetna
    • Ongoing 2024 California Broker Bonus: Aetna continues to offer a broker bonus to California brokers in 2024. Earn $75 or $100 on each new enrolled employee in groups of up to 100 eligibles who purchase fully insured and Aetna Funding AdvantageSM plans. Visit our Newsroom for more information.
    Delta Dental
    • Small Business Broker Rewards: Enroll today in Delta Dental’s Small Business Broker Rewards Program. You will earn additional comp for selling and retaining eligible groups of 2-99 lives throughout 2024. Sign up at ddsbrewards.com and read our Newsroom post to learn more.

Medical​ Coverage

  • Multiple Carriers
    • Q3 Quoting: Quote updates for Q3 have been received from Aetna, Anthem Blue Cross, CaliforniaChoice, Cigna + Oscar, Health Net, Sharp Health Plan, and UnitedHealthcare. Covered California for Small Business also has updates for Q3. Login to quote now or contact us for quoting assistance.
  • Aetna
  • Anthem Blue Cross
    • HMO Network Expansion: Anthem is expanding its Priority Select HMO service area to include Ventura, Kern, and San Luis Obispo counties. Quoting systems have been updated with new Area 12 and Area 14 ZIP Codes.
    • Attestation Form: Anthem accepts an Attestation Form in lieu of a prior carrier bill under specified circumstances: if the group has 25 or more enrolled and the group is coming out of a large or multiple employer scenario. Ask your W&B rep for details.
    • Contract Maintained: Aspire Health Plan has rescinded its planned termination with Anthem, so members can continue to receive care through the Anthem network.
    • Contract Termination: The Anthem network agreement with Mercy Physicians Medical Group, San Diego, has terminated retroactive to March 1, 2024. Members were previously notified by Anthem.
    • Renewed Contracts: Anthem has renewed agreements with Palomar Heath [Palomar Medical Center Escondido, Palomar Medical Center Poway, Arch Health Partners (PPO), and Graybill Medical Group (PPO)] effective April 1, 2024, as well as Sonoma Valley Hospital effective May 1, 2024.
    • Contract Negotiations Underway: Trade media reports in March noted that Blue Shield and Providence Health Plan continue to work toward a new 2024 contract extension. If terms cannot be negotiated, the current agreement will end May 31, 2024. Watch for updates.
  • Blue Shield of California
    • 2024 Employer Guide: Earlier this year, Blue Shield released its 2024 Small Business Administrator’s Guide. If you or your clients do not already have a copy, you can download yours now. The guide offers everything you and your clients need to know about eligibility, enrollment, managing benefits, and getting assistance. Also available is an updated Small Business Owner Eligibility Statement.
    • Broker Connection Updates: You may have noticed recent updates to Blue Shield of California’s Broker Connection site. If not, check out the new broker resources available.
    • Tools for the Trusted Advisor: Blue Shield has released new tools and resources to help you become a trusted advisor to your clients. Check out the details in the Small Business section of the Group Broker Update.
    • Forms Updates: For Q3, Blue Shield has updated several of its forms, including the Master Group Application, Employee Application, Group Change Request, and Subscriber Change Request. Be sure you have the latest forms for your Q3 enrollments. Download copies from W&B’s online Insurance Forms Library.
  • ​​​​CaliforniaChoice
    • Form Updates: CaliforniaChoice has updated its Employer Application and Employer Change Request Form to reflect the most-popular employer contribution scenarios. Please be sure to replace any copies of these forms that you have in your office as current forms will no longer be accepted for new business or renewals with June or later effective dates.
    • New Video: CaliforniaChoice has added a new video to promote the program to prospects and clients. “Your Gateway to Affordable Small Business Health Insurance” can be viewed on YouTube or downloaded from the CalChoice site.
  • Health Net
    • Self-Service Tools: An updated Broker Portal Guide is now available from Health Net. You can download a copy from Word &Brown’s online Insurance Forms Library. A new Employer Portal User Guide is also available for your clients. Groups are being notified.
    • Broker Webinar: Health Net is offering a broker webinar on April 18. You can learn about Q3 rate and benefit updates; tips and tricks for utilizing their new broker portal; and what’s on the horizon for the carrier. Register here.
  • Humana
  • Kaiser Permanente
    • Talk With Your Groups About Musculoskeletal Conditions: More than half of all employees suffer from a musculoskeletal (MSK) condition. It’s no surprise that 44% of employers rank musculoskeletal issues as the top health condition impacting their costs — while 85% rank it among the top three. Kaiser Permanente provides personalized, evidence-based care from doctors and specialists who work together in an integrated system to deliver better care and healthier outcomes. Download two added resources to share with clients concerning Kaiser Permanente’s coordinated connected care.
  • Sharp Health Plan
    • Q3 Rate Update: Sharp Health Plan has released its rates effective July 1, 2024 (through September 30). Download the PDF.
  • Sutter Health Plus
    • Employer Guide Update: Sutter has published a new guide for employers that includes pharmacy benefit manager information, contact details for Account Services, health plan and specialty plan partner information, member options for accessing care and wellness programs, and network and service area info. Tell your clients they can access the guide via the Sutter Health Plus Employer Portal.
    • Added Resources from Optum: Sutter also wants to remind you that your clients can now access a monthly engagement toolkit from Optum. Encourage your clients to go to the Optum Wellbeing website and select Organization and Employer Resources for timely content and resources.
  • UnitedHealthcare
    • New Guides: UnitedHealthcare has published its 2024 Producer Performance Guide for California brokers. Also available is a 2024 Small Business Product Catalog. Download your copies from our Insurance Forms Library.
  • Word & Brown
    • Quick Reference Guides: Word & Brown has recently updated more than a dozen Quick Reference Guides. They address a wide range of topics, including No DE 9C Promotions and Guidelines; 2024 Payroll Guide; Cannabis Industry Carrier Acceptance; Common Ownership; Dental Participation; Owner-Only Groups; Medical Participation and Alongside Guidelines; PEO Guidelines; Spouses and Domestic Partners; Startup Groups; Valid Waivers; Vision Participation; W-2 Enrollment Requirements; Waiting Periods Guide; Length of Time in Business Requirements; Payroll; and DE 9C Filing Dates. Visit our Underwriting Quick Reference Guides web page – it is always up to date with the latest guides!

Ancillary & Other​ Coverage

  • Ameritas
    • Forms Update: Ameritas has a new microsite for Word & Brown producers to access the most up-to-date California Small Group (2-50) Ameritas forms. Visit our Newsroom post for more details, including a QR code which takes you directly to the Ameritas page.
  • BEST Life
    • 2-Year Rate Guarantee + Bundling Discount: BEST Life suggests that if you have not shopped ancillary for your clients in two or more years, now is the time. You’ll receive BEST Life’s most competitive rates and comprehensive coverage for your small business and larger groups. BEST Life offers Dental, Vision, Short-Term Disability, and Term Life. Groups of 5+ enrolled employees that bundle Dental and other coverage get a bundling discount. Groups of 10+ enrolled employees get a two-year rate guarantee. Groups of 5+ enrolled employees with 60%+ participation get voluntary discounts. Ask your W&B rep for details.
  • Blue Shield of California
    • Specialty Discount: Blue Shield continues to offer a 10% discount on small business Dental and/or Vision when added to Medical.
  • ChoiceBuilder
    • Ancillary Made Easy: If your clients are shopping for Ancillary, introduce them to ChoiceBuilder. It offers nearly 40 employer-sponsored and voluntary coverage from leading insurers and plans. Ask your CHOICE Administrators or Word & Brown rep for details.
  • Humana
    • Group Benefits Marketing Kit: Humana’s new Marketing Kit for Group Benefits is now available. It’s everything you need to know about sales resources for Dental, Vision, Life, and Disability products from Humana. Download your copy today.
  • MetLife
    • Quoting Tool: MetLife has released an updated quoting tool for ancillary for groups (of 2-99 eligible lives) seeking coverage effective through 09/30/2024. Download the Excel file to quote Dental, Vision, Life, STD, LTD, or Voluntary Disability.
For details on any of these California updates, contact your Word & Brown representative.

 

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