Lower Rate Increases, Wellness Programs on Tap for FEP Enrollees in 2015, AIS Newsletter Reports

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“There’s more focus on the wellness programs this year,” BCBSA spokesperson Eric Lail told The AIS Report on Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans* in its November issue.

Federal workers and retirees who have health insurance through the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association’s (BCBSA) Federal Employee Program (FEP) will have lower out-of-pocket costs and the plan will provide incentives to enrollees who take advantage of wellness programs, BCBSA spokesperson Eric Lail told Atlantic Information Services, Inc.’s independently published AIS Report on Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans* in its November issue.

For the 2015 plan year, premiums for FEP’s Basic Option increased by 4% (employees will contribute $63.40 every other week), while rates for the richer Standard Option grew by 3% (employees will contribute $91.03 every other week). According to the Office of Personnel Management, 2015 will be the fourth consecutive year federal health benefits premiums increases will be below 4%. In 2015, FEP will also reduce out-of-pocket costs on some services. Out-of-pocket expenses for urgent care services, for example, are being cut by $15 in the Basic Option and $10 in the Standard Option.

“There’s more focus on the wellness programs this year,” Lail said. One such program is FEP’s “behavior-change platform,” which also includes online health risk assessment, and health coaching tools and content from WebMD as part of a partnership started this year. Members who complete the health risk assessment can earn a $40 health debit card; an additional $35 can be earned by completing up to three lifestyle goals with the online health coach. In the first quarter of 2014, BCBSA says about 150,000 members participated.

Visit http://aishealth.com/archive/nblu1114-04 to read the article in its entirety, which also includes details of other FEP initiatives and data ranking the top 25 health plans among federal employees.

About The AIS Report on Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans*
The AIS Report on Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans delivers timely news and insightful analysis of new products, market share, strategies, conversions, financing, profitability and strategic alliances of Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans, which are major players in every U.S. health insurance market. The 12-page monthly newsletter is designed for plan managers and others who consider BCBS plans to be partners or competitors. Visit http://aishealth.com/marketplace/ais-report-blue-cross-and-blue-shield-plans for more information.

*A thoroughly objective publication, The AIS Report on Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans is published independently by AIS and is not affiliated with or sponsored, endorsed or approved by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association or any of the independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies.

About Atlantic Information Services
Atlantic Information Services, Inc. (AIS) is a publishing and information company that has been serving the health care industry for more than 25 years. It develops highly targeted news, data and strategic information for managers in hospitals, health plans, medical group practices, pharmaceutical companies and other health care organizations. AIS products include print and electronic newsletters, websites, looseleafs, books, strategic reports, databases, webinars and conferences. Learn more at http://AISHealth.com.

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