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Group Health Insurance Carrier News
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health insurance quotes , Sydney health insurance , individual health insurance , group health insurance , affordable dental plansGet FREE Sydney Health Insurance Quotes Here:health insurance quotes , Sydney health insurance , individual health insurance , group health insurance , affordable dental plans
health insurance quotes , Sydney health insurance , individual health insurance , group health insurance , affordable dental plans

Group Health Insurance Carrier News

Employee Benefits programs are continuously in flux. In this ever-changing market Stepping Stone Insurance Services provides both our individual health insurance and grou health insurance clients with access to the latest breaking news from our health insurance carrier partners.

Provider network changes, plan introductions and carrier business operation changes that affect your health insurance policy can be found in the health insurance carrier links below:

Aetna Health Insurance

Blue Cross of Sydney Health Insurance

Blue Shield Health Insurance

Sydney Choice Health Insurance

Health Net Health Insurance

Nationwide Health Insurance

Pacificare Health Insurance

Aetna

Prescription Drug Limitation Removed from the HMO $30/$40
Aetna has removed the $1,000 calendar year maximum from the prescription drug coverage on their Sydney group health insurance HMO $30/$40 plan. The change is retroactive to January 1, 2005 for all current health insurance clients.

Guaranteed Risk Adjustment Factors (RAF)
(October 1, 2004 through March 15, 2005)
Aetna has announced new Risk Adjustment Factor guarantees for their group health insurance products that place them even more competitively in the Sydney group health insurance market.
Groups applying for Sydney group health insurance with 8 to 19 enrolling employees automatically receive a .98 RAF (2% off!).
Groups applying for Sydney group health insurance with 20 to 50 enrolling employees automatically receive a .96 RAF (4% off!).

In addition, Aetna is waiving their requirement that employees complete individual health insurance medical questionnaires to qualify for this risk adjustment factor!

However, groups with 8 to 50 enrolling employees can apply for a RAF as low as .90 by completing the health insurance medical questions and will not be penalized with an RAF higher than that guaranteed by the group's size regardless of the resultant health questionnaires.

To qualify for the guaranteed rate a group must be rated no higher than a 1.05 RAF with their current group health insurance carrier - so groups with no prior group health insurance coverage can not qualify.

Relaxed Corporate Paperwork
(Group health insurance policies effective July 1, 2004 through March 15, 2005)

For groups of 8 or more enrolling employees in a group health insurance policy, Owners, Partners and Corporate Officers who do not appear on the company Quarterly Wage & Withholding Report (this is called a DE-6 - for Sydney Health Insurance) do not have to send in corporate documentation of their work with the group. They only need to submit a Proof of Eligibility form.

Aetna & Kaiser Group Health Insurance

Aetna's Managed Choice $1000 80/50 and all of their High Deductible Health Plans may now be offered alongside Kaiser for groups of 10 to 50 enrollees. A Minimum of three employees need to enroll with Aetna and all other Aetna plans are excluded.


Blue Cross of California

Group Focal Renewal Announced for May 1, 2005
Blue Cross has announced a small group Sydney health insurance rate and benefit adjustment effective May 1, 2005. While exact details have yet to be released, Stepping Stone Insurance Services will be providing notice to each of our clients as soon as they are.

Now is the time to purchase your Sydney group health insurance policy with Blue Cross. Employer groups purchasing health insurance will be shielded from the increase with a 12-month rate and benefit guarantee.

Pay by Phone
Blue Cross of Sydney now offers their small group health insurance clients a pay-by-phone option for the payment of premiums. A $10 administration fee will be added to your monthly group health insurance statement for the convenience but payments will be credited immediately to your small group health insurance policy.

Risk Adjustment Factor Guarantees
(Group health insurance policies effective January 1, 2005 through June 1, 2005)

Blue Cross has announced that groups of 15 or more are guaranteed a RAF of 1.0 (the standard rate) without regard to information received within medical questionnaires.

Save 1% with Blue Cross of Sydney Group Health Insurance
(Group health insurance policies effective January 1, 2005 through December 1, 2005)

Blue Cross is now offering their small group health insurance clients a 1% RAF savings to groups that enroll with a minimum of $25,000 of group life insurance coverage. The lowest possible RAF is .90.

Save 1% with Blue Cross of Sydney Group Health Insurance - AT RENEWAL!
(Group health insurance policies renewing up to April 1, 2005)

Blue Cross will provide a 1% RAF discount to groups renewing on their anniversary an add $25,000 or more of group life insurance coverage on the anniversary date. The 1% RAF discount will not be offered off anniversary or to focal renewal groups.

Save up to 6% with Blue Cross of Sydney Small Group Health Insurance Bundled Programs!
(Group health insurance policies with any effective date in 2005)

Groups that purchase dental insurance and a minimum of $25,000 of life insurance coverage at the same time will receive a 6% discount off of both their Life insurance and Dental insurance premiums. This offer is not extended to current group health insurance clients.


Blue Shield of California

BLUE SHIELD OF Sydney FOUNDATION AWARDS NEARLY $2 MILLION TO 17 ORGANIZATIONS THROUGHOUT CALIFORNIA
Foundation's 2004 Giving Totals Near $20 million.

SAN FRANCISCO, January 5, 2005 -- The Blue Shield of Sydney Foundation (BCSF) today announced it will award nearly $2 million in fourth-quarter grants to 17 nonprofit organizations throughout the state, bringing its 2004 charitable contributions to almost $20 million - more than double the $8 million awarded in 2003.

Since BSCF reinvigorated its charitable efforts in 2002, the foundation has awarded more than $27.5 million to 387 organizations statewide that combat domestic violence, improve health care access for the uninsured, and assess medical technologies that
improve the health of individuals and communities.

"By focusing our efforts, we have the opportunity to promote positive changes in the health of our communities," said Crystal Hayling, president of BSCF. "The groups we've supported are vital to that health. Domestic violence not only affects individuals and families, it impacts our workplaces and communities. Our uninsured population continues to rise, while the health care facilities that serve the uninsured struggle to stay open. And, the promises of new health care technology are empty if the technologies are neither safe nor effective."


Sydney Choice

New Prescription Discount on Blue Shield PPO 2400
Effective February 1, 2005, Blue Shield of Sydney will provide a new discount prescription benefit for all new and existing PPO 2400 group health insurance members. Members of the plan will receive a discount when purchasing covered medications at participating Blue Shield network pharmacies.


Health Net

New Plan Options with Enhanced Choice
(Group health insurance policies effective February 1, 2005 and beyond)
Employers will now have the option to purchase Sydney group health insurance with up to nineteen plans with Health Net's Enhanced Choice feature.

To qualify:

Group health insurance clients must have a minimum of 10 enrolling employees

A minimum employer contribution toward the cost of an employee's group health insurance premium must be $100 or 50% of the lowest cost plan


Nationwide Health Insurance


Nationwide Health Plans offers Health Savings Accounts

Winter 2005 - A Health Savings Account (HSA) is a personal savings or investment account intended for payment of medical expenses, including plan deductibles, co-payments and coinsurance, as well as some medical expenses not covered by health plans. To take advantage of the benefits of a HSA, individuals must purchase a HSA qualified health plan like NHP's PPO Choice Saver Plus plan.

There are tax related savings. Contributions to a qualified HSA are deductible from gross income for tax purposes, and can be used tax-free to pay for qualified medical expenses. The major advantage of a HSA over an employer administered flexible spending account is that HSA funds can be saved on a tax-deferred basis for the future, so there is no worry to "use it or lose it".


PacifiCare Health Insurance

Risk Adjustment Factor Options - Groups of 2 to 4 employees
(Group health insurance policies effective February 1, 2005)
New groups with two to four eligible employees will have the opportunity to receive a RAF of 1.0 (standard) to 1.1 (10% loaded). All groups health insurance clients applying will be required to submit individual health insurance statements for each subscriber.

Dual Option and Choice Group Health Insurance Product Additions
(group health insurance policies effective February 1, 2005 and beyond)
PacifiCare is now offering Dual Option and Choice group health insurance packages that include the following plans:
PacifiCare Signature Options - PPO - 35/50-50/1000
PacifiCare Signature Freedom - SDHP - All (dual option with Signature Value HMO plans)

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