Blue Shield Health Reform Reporting Requirements

Blue Shield of California has advised that employers will  need to provide information due to Health Reform.

Employers will need to submit written confirmation about their contribution levels in order to maintain grandfathered status of their plan(s).  The written confirmation at each renewal will need to state that their contribution levels have not dropped by more than 5% since March 23, 2010. 

In the next few weeks, Blue Shield will provide their groups with an attestation letter. The attestation letter will be sent via mail, then the employer will need to complete it and fax back to Blue Shield. Their contracts will also be modified to state that employers must notify Blue Shield  if they plan to reduce their contribution levels. An attestation letter will also be sent to grandfathered groups that have already renewed with Blue Shield, as they continue to incorporate HHS guidance.  Grandfathered custom large group plans attest to this requirement at renewal and will not be sent the attestation letter.

Another responsibility focuses on W-2 reporting – which will be optional for 2011.  On October 12, the IRS issued a notice that makes benefits value reporting by employers optional for the 2011 tax year. (Note – this will be the W-2 issued in January of 2012 for the tax year of 2011.)

The ACA W-2 mandate requires that employers report to their employees the dollar value of their health coverage under employer-sponsored health plans. The Treasury Department and IRS have decided to make this an option for 2011 – giving employers more time to make payroll system changes and better prepare for and communicate the W-2 mandate.

We will, of course, provide you with updates as soon as they become available.

For more information please visit the Blue Shield of California website at https://www.blueshieldca.com/producer/news/health-reform/

New Enhancements to Anthem Program

Anthem Blue Cross of California recently enhanced its Resource Advisor member-assistance service to include Beneficiary Companion and Identity Theft Victim Recovery Services programs at no additional cost to customers.

The Beneficiary Companion not only notifies financial institutions and public agencies of a loved one’s death, but also closes accounts and places a freeze on credit reports, according to Nicholas Brecker, president of Anthem’s life and disability business.

The ID theft service assigns a fraud resolution specialist to members for an entire year to work closely with creditors, collection companies, collection law firms and credit reporting agencies in the event of an identity theft.