Employee Benefits

COVID-19 Carrier Updates – Blue Cross Blue Shield of IL

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois

Eligibility Requirements – Reduced Hours/Layoffs

Blue Cross of IL is temporarily (through April 30, 2020) relaxing its contractual eligibility requirements. From now through April 30, 2020, employers can maintain employees on their respective plans even though they may not meet the eligibility definition stated in their plan. This includes reduced work hours, furlough, leave of absence or layoff. This does not create a scenario whereby employees that previously waived coverage who now drop below minimum eligibility requirements can be added to the plan. This only pertains to employee’s enrollment in the plan as of March 20, 2020. Payments are still required on a timely basis. The employer does need to do anything related to these eligibility issues. No paperwork or email is needed. If a group wants to change their eligibility guidelines beyond April 30, 2020 then a new BPA would be needed for a May 1, 2020 or later effective date redefining the group’s eligibility.

The rehire waiting period for re-hired employees who were terminated due to COVID-19 will be waived for employees rehired by May 31, 2020.

Special Open Enrollment Period

Blue Cross Blue Shield of IL is offering groups an optional special enrollment period from March 30 – April 30, 2020 with an effective date of April 1, 2020. This would apply to eligible employees and their dependents who previously declined coverage and now want to enroll, or currently enrolled employees who wish to add an eligible spouse or dependent to their existing coverage.

Guidelines: Applicable enrollment changes must be received on or before Friday, May 2020. Effective date of coverage will be April 1, 2020. This enrollment event will be for medical/pharmacy and dental coverage only. Employers should notify their account representative if they plan to use this special enrollment option and use the standard eligibility process to add employees.

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