A Word from Sam

I love the summer solstice. The longest day of the year with over 15 hours of daylight arrived in RI with vacationers from all around New England coming to visit our beaches, restaurants, and many other attractions. Despite the long days it seems like there's never enough time to squeeze everything in. I can promise you, though, that top on my list of priorities is providing top quality service to you and our mutual customers.

Let me share some updates. First, Blue Cross recently filed 2018 projected premium rates with the Office of the Health Commissioner. Our rates reflect the progress our coordinated care partnerships are beginning to have in our RI market, but overall demand for healthcare services and drug prices continue to propel annual spending and thus, premium rates. The opportunity for lower premiums we see through our BlueCHiP coordinated health plan is one of the reasons we will offer it with a New England network this fall. Be sure to read the article on 2018 products and rates featured in this edition.

Also, I want to thank those of you that completed the broker survey we sent out a couple of months ago. It’s been a while since we solicited formal feedback from our broker partners and we appreciate the opportunity to learn and get better. In addition to the broker survey, we also conducted a survey of our small and large group clients. We are still reviewing the responses and digesting the input, and while I could share testimonials from happy partners, I want to focus on what was identified as the top area of opportunity and what we’re doing about it: our internal processes and technology.

We agree, which is why we are dedicating considerable time and resources to streamlining our processes and improving our technology. Our continuous improvement team has developed a workout approach that is deployed whenever we find significant issues. We are working with them to identify and understand root causes, create new processes, and deploy technology to help us serve you and our clients more effectively. For instance, I know that many of you will be happy to hear that there is currently a workout group addressing concerns with the creation and delivery of the Schedule A’s to form 5500. 

On a final note, we are jumpstarting our exciting 2018 portfolio of products and services with a new advertising campaign which will start in the coming week. I invite you to look at the B2Blue website that is part of the new employer brand campaign: “B2Blue: It’s where business is going.” B2Blue is the launching pad for all the new business initiatives we’re delivering on, like the new regional BlueCHiP product (New England Health Plan); our wellness program powered by Virgin Pulse; the Employer Reporting Tool, Blue Insights; and the value of our consumer-driven health plans. As you can see by the sneak peek it highlights the new tools we’ve created to help Rhode Island companies manage costs, while making their employees and their businesses healthier. We are confident the campaign reinforces the choice and value Blue Cross offers our mutual clients.

As always, thanks again for your continued partnership.

Until next time,

Sam Slade