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If you recall, last month I wrote about Medica’s “My Medica” plan which is available for large group and expands the concept of dual options many times over.  Well Blue Cross and HealthPartners have answered the call with Blue Cross’ Blue Choice for the large groups and HealthPartners Just Right for small groups .

To quickly recap on how these plans work, essentially a group submits the appropriate underwriting information and the insurance company determines what the minimum employer contribution must be.  From there, the employer contribution (can be more than minimum) goes to offset the cost of insurance along the spectrum of plan designs offered.  This means some plans will cost the employees more than others, but that the employee can truly choose a plan that suits their specific needs.

Blue Cross’s Blue Choice breaks their defined contribution product down into 3 different packages, (A,B, & C) each of which contain 6 set plan designs that vary by coverage and network.  Employers can choose one, two, or all three packages, ultimately offering between 6 and 18 plan designs for employees to chose from.  

HP’s Just Right product consists of suite of six plans that include HSA, Three for Free, and Copay plans, each of which offers two benefit levels .  

Even though these plans are similar, there are some key differences.  First, the Blue Choice rates come with a 3 year rate caps to offer some renewal security.  Secondly, the both Blue Choice and Just Right allow and promote employers and brokers to remain involved in the day to day management of employee coverage.

It is apparent that the industry believes in the concept of defined contribution model with My Medica, Blue Choice and Just Right.  The Bates Insurance Group will keep its finger on the pulse of these changes and are here to answer any questions you might have.

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