A word from Sam

Hello and welcome to the August edition of the Broker Update. As summer winds down and we approach the Labor Day holiday, things in our business generally tend to heat up. With 2018 premium rates recently approved by the Office of the Health Insurance Commissioner (OHIC), we are now working hard on the January 2018 renewal cycle. We understand the urgency you and your clients have to get these renewals finalized and begin the hard work of implementing new solutions and conducting open enrollment in a timely fashion, and we’re doing everything we can to move these as quickly as possible.

The OHIC rate filing approval was announced on August 17, and you can read more about it in this press release. I want to reiterate that our goal to be simple and affordable is a difficult one. While I’m confident BCBSRI will continue to offer your clients competitive rates and a variety of options in 2018, we remain committed to creating a more sustainable long-term cost structure and better financial outcomes for our members. Collectively we must create alternative strategies that encourage consumer engagement and improved coordination of healthcare. That’s why it’s more important than ever to offer our mutual customers solutions like our BlueCHiP coordinated health plans and our BlueSolutions consumer-driven health plan, which are a great complement to any employer benefit strategy.

Speaking of our BlueCHiP coordinated health plans, as a reminder, we are launching our New England Health Plans this fall. I can’t tell you how excited I am to be able to team up with other Blue Cross plans across New England to offer this regional product. It has an attractive price point and combines a great network with strong provider discounts and a referral requirement that emphasizes the importance of primary care.

Lastly I want to update you on our continuous improvement efforts. We’re conducting an end-to-end review to streamline our processes and gain efficiencies in our small group space. From underwriting to ID cards to audit—we’re deploying a “workout” approach to identify how we can improve our service to you when quoting and writing business with us. We’re also updating our renewal delivery process in small and large group with new materials that help to emphasize solutions. Finally, we’re adopting an enhanced retention process in large group (over 100), a set process that includes four strategic meetings per year and an emphasis on proactive customer outreach. Be sure to ask your sales rep or our Broker team led by Katie O’Hare for more information.

As always, we thank you for partnering with us to help our mutual customers.

Until next time,

Sam Slade