Blue Shield Announces Q1 2021 Small Group Updates

Rates for Q1 2021 provide stability

Blue Shield will have a rate pass for first quarter 2021 for all plans and rating regions. The cumulative rate action for groups renewing in Q1 2021 is -0.3%, reflecting the preceding four quarters' rate actions combined.
As a reminder, with Bundled Savings, groups can add dental or vision plans with 10% lower premiums for these plans, when the group also offers medical coverage. Blue Shield's two-year rate guarantee on dental and vision helps keep rates predictable and stable for your small business accounts.
New plans and benefits for 2021 provide richer benefits

Two new plans will be added to the market:
  • Platinum PPO 250/10 is offered on both Tandem and Full PPO networks. It has a low out of pocket maximum with a combined in- and out-of-network deductible, and features copays for specialists matching primary care office visits. 
  • Gold PPO Savings 1750/15% is the richest of the high-deductible eligible health plans, providing value and flexibility. It's offered on both Tandem and Full PPO networks, and also features a lower out of pocket maximum.
View the new marketing materials: Teladoc

Beginning next year, $0 copays for Teladoc general medical visits will be standard throughout the 2021 small business portfolio plans. This is for all plans including PPO/HMO, Trio and Tandem, On/Off Exchange. Also included are PPO Savings (HDHP) plans, with copays being $0 a visit and not subject to the deductible.
Blue Shield is also adding Teladoc mental health* with $0 copay for all plans including PPO/HMO, Trio and Tandem, On/Off Exchange. For PPO Savings (HDHP) plans, the copay will be $0 a visit and not subject to the deductible.
* $0 copay and addition of mental health benefits are upon renewal in 2021 and for new groups enrolling in 2021.
Specialty Benefits

There are a few updates for the 2021 dental plan, vision plan, and life insurance offerings:
  • Ultimate DPPO plans have updated names with 'ortho' or 'no ortho' to more clearly identify the plan benefits.
  • Vision plans now offer retinal imaging, a more convenient process than pupil dilation, with no impact to rates.
  • Basic Life and AD&D insurance will be available at $40,000 and $45,000, filling in what previously had been a gap.
A few important reminders for specialty offerings:
  • Dental plans come with a two-year rate guarantee.
  • Groups can now select two vision plans to offer members.
  • Life insurance includes beneficiary assistance and travel assistance.
View the Changes to Specialty Plans document here.
Source: Blue Shield of California