BCBSNE extends ‘keep your plan’ until 2016

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska announced that individual members and small business groups who kept their health insurance plans in 2013 can extend those policies into 2016.

BCBSNE’s decision to extend plans that were issued prior to January 1, 2014 comes on the heels of the Nebraska Department of Insurance announcement that it would allow the extension of policies that are not compliant with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) through October 1, 2016.

Individual members and those covered by small employer groups (2-50) also have the option to switch to an ACA plan; any new policy sold after Jan. 1, 2014 must be compliant with the health care law.

“This is great news for Nebraska consumers and our members, and we are pleased the Nebraska Department of Insurance made this decision,” said Pat Bourne, BCBSNE Senior Vice President of Sales and Service. “It’s important that our members have the choices they value. This allows them to keep the health insurance they know and trust, or they have the flexibility to move to a new ACA plan—whichever meets their needs.”

“BCBSNE individual and small group customers will be notified by letter regarding their options to continue with their current coverage through 2015, or choose an ACA-compliant plan that may qualify for cost assistance from the federal government. Non-ACA plans that are being extended do not qualify for federal cost assistance."

HEALTH INSURANCE TERMS


COINSURANCE

The percentage of the bill you pay after your deductible has been met.

COPAY

A fixed amount you pay when you get a covered health service.

Tiered benefit plan

A health care plan featuring multiple levels of benefits based on the network status of a particular provider. 

DEDUCTIBLE

The annual amount you pay for covered health services before your insurance begins to pay.

emergency care services

Any covered services received in a hospital emergency room setting.

SUBSTANCE ABUSE DISORDER SERVICES

Includes behavioral health treatment, counseling, and psychotherapy


in-network provider

A provider contracted by your insurance company to accept an agreed upon payment for covered services. 

OUT-OF-network provider

A term for providers that aren’t contracting with your insurance company. (Your out-of-pocket costs will tend to be more expensive if you go to an out-of-network provider.)

out-of-pocket

Your expenses for medical care that aren’t reimbursed by insurance, including deductibles, coinsurance and co-payments.

penalty

If you can afford health insurance, but choose not to buy it, you must have a health coverage exemption or pay a tax penalty on your federal income tax return.

premium

The amount you pay to your health insurance company each month. 


Preventive services

Health care services that focus on the prevention of disease and health maintenance.

rehab SERVICES

Services and devices to help you recover if you are injured or have surgery. This includes physical, occupational and speech therapy.

special enrollment period

The time after the Open Enrollment Period when you can still purchase health insurance only if you have a qualifying life event (losing other health coverage, having a baby, getting married, moving).

specialist

A physician who has a majority of his or her practice in fields other than internal or general medicine, obstetrics/gynecology, pediatrics or family practice.