Blue Links for Employers

Regulatory Updates

ACA Member Months Coverage Report Available for ASC Accounts
All of our Administrative Services Contract (ASC) accounts will have access to a tax reporting service, which follows the Affordable Care Act (ACA) guidelines. As part of our continual efforts to provide service enhancements, we will once again give you the choice to have us run your Member Months Coverage Report at no cost. This service is available to ASC accounts for the 2017 tax year. Learn more.

Pharmacy Benefit Update for Statin Medications, Effective December 1, 2017
To comply with new United States Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommendations, we are updating our statin medications benefit beginning December 1, 2017. In this update, eligible employees will no longer need to pay a copayment for certain statin medications. Read more

Health Care Reform Recap as of 3/10/17
Learn more about the recent activity in Washington and how it relates to Health Care Reform.

Health Care Reform Activity
We are currently reviewing the bill released by House Republican leadership last night (on March 6) to assess its potential impact on Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts customers as well as the Massachusetts health care system more broadly. Read more

Recent Activity in Health Care Reform
With the inauguration of President Donald Trump, the national health care landscape seems to be shifting, raising questions about the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and what it all means to our industry — and your businesses. While there is nothing definitive from policymakers in Washington, we do expect there to be changes to the law over time. For an update on recent activity read the full article.

Mass Connector Certifies New High Deductible Health Plans
We’re pleased to announce that several of our high deductible health plan designs have received Minimum Creditable Coverage (MCC) certification from the Connector for 2016 and 2017.

IRS Extends Due Dates for Filing 2015 Health Coverage Forms
The IRS announced an extension of the date by which copies of the forms 1094-B, 1094-C, 1095-B, and 1095-C must be provided to employees and responsible individuals.

Members Will Get New 1095-B Forms in 2016
The IRS requires all health insurance companies to issue new 1095-B forms each year under regulation 6055 for fully insured employers. These forms provide proof that taxpayers had minimum essential coverage for the entire year.

Congressional Legislation Impacting the Health Insurance, Cadillac & Medical Device Taxes Has Passed
New law suspends the Health Insurance tax for one year, and delays the "Cadillac tax" from implementation until 2020.

Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC) Changes for 2016
As of January 1, 2016, we'll include online access on the SBC to the coverage policy documents for members who are part of small group or individual plans. Members of large group (51 eligible employees or more) plans will have access to sample coverage policies. Members can find the web address located in the disclaimer box on page one of their SBC.

Medicare Creditable Coverage Notice Requirements
Group health plan sponsors that provide prescription drug coverage to Medicare-eligible members must notify these members whether or not their coverage is creditable.

Affordable Care Act Preventive Services Update
The United States Preventive Services Task Force has announced changes that will go into effect in 2015. Both fully insured and self-insured accounts will be affected by these changes, including grandfathered accounts that adopted Affordable Care Act preventive services benefits. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts has developed an aggressive implementation schedule for these changes in order to gain administrative efficiencies. Read more here.

Certificates of Creditable Coverage No Longer Required by the Affordable Care Act
Beginning January 1, 2015, insurers are no longer required to issue certificates of creditable coverage to members.

Supporting Healthcare Consumerism with Cost Estimation Resources
Through our Find a Doctor tool, members have access to online cost estimation information on hundreds of common services and treatments. Members can access the tool by logging in to their Member Central account and clicking on the Find a Doctor link. Additionally, if necessary, members can request a written cost estimate by filling out and submitting a request form.

Clarification for PPO Products for Enrolled Members with Medicare as the Primary Payer
The following clarification affects members who have Medicare as their primary payer and are enrolled in a fully insured or self- funded PPO product with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts.

Members to supply information to comply with ACA coverage
Pursuant to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Individual Responsibility provision, federal law mandates that health plans provide evidence of minimum essential health care coverage to individual members in fully insured accounts by 2016. We will send out letters to subscribers (including member dependents) requesting their tax ID numbers in late 2014 and over the course of 2015. Members who don't prove they have minimum coverage will be penalized when they file federal income tax returns in 2016.

Changes to how carriers calculate small group business premiums
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) indicates new rules for how insurance carriers calculate premiums for Small Group business (1-50 eligible employees). Although the new methodology is premium neutral, there are a few differences from our current methodology.

New mothers can order a breast pump at no cost
We are pleased to announce that members living in Massachusetts can now order select breast pumps, at no cost to them, through our newly contracted suppliers, Ameda Direct and Medela, two of the nation's leading breast pump manufacturers.

Final Regulations for Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act
Final regulations regarding the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) are effective July 1, 2014 upon renewal and apply to all commercial plans, administrative service contracts, and fully insured plans—including grandfathered and non-grandfathered plans.

MA Health Care Reform
In May 2006, Massachusetts enacted a health care reform law that made the Commonwealth the first state in the nation to provide nearly universal health care coverage.

National Health Care Reform
View news and information on National Health Care Reform.

Medicare Updates
Required Reporting of Social Security Numbers.

Early Intervention Mandate
An overview of the Early Intervention Mandate.

Racial, Ethnic & Language Health Care Disparities
Collecting member data to help improve quality of care.

COBRA Updates
An overview of COBRA and mini-COBRA subsidies and what they mean for your business and your employees.

HIPAA Standard: Version 5010
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts prepares to implement the next HIPAA Standard: Version 5010.

Important Direct Pay Eligibility Changes
Find out about your Direct Pay eligibility and enrollment options for 2010.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts is an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.
® Registered Marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.
© Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Inc.
101 Huntington Avenue, Suite 1300, Boston, MA 02199-7611 | 1-800-262-BLUE (2583)