Serving Our Members in 2018

A Message from Our President

Oct. 16, 2017

Open enrollment marks that time of year when millions of people are making important decisions about their health care coverage. The last few months have been full of activity and as the debate on health care continues, one thing remains constant: our commitment to expanding access to affordable health coverage to Montanans in a variety of situations and stages in their lives.

That’s why Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana (BCBSMT) is proud to once again offer plans to all Montanans whether they get their coverage at work, through the individual marketplace or a government program.

During open enrollment, we focus on providing information to our members when and where they need it, with greater transparency, choice and flexibility in their care. We’re ready to help members choose the coverage that best meets their needs.

  • We’re offering a variety of products and member benefits. In 2018, members can choose from a variety of individual plan options – both on and off the exchange - in every county across Montana. We’ll also help our Medicare members identify the plan that best meets their needs, and our members who get coverage through their employer will once again have a variety of products, choices and benefits to choose from.
  • We'll be with you through it all. Health care is complex, and we’re here to make sure it works for you. BCBSMT customer service and product specialists, community education teams and our suite of digital tools and resources – such as virtual visits, the enhanced BCBSMT mobile app, or our virtual assistant Jordyn – are available to assist members make more informed health care decisions.
  • Making the health care system work for our members. There’s a lot going on behind the scenes at BCBSMT to make the health care system work better. We’re investing in systems, research and strategic partnerships to ensure our members have access to the best care from top quality networks of doctors and hospitals.

As we continuously fine tune HOW we do business – how we sell, enroll and provide customer service during open enrollment – we always remember that our members are WHY we do business. Whether you choose BCBSMT directly through us, through the individual marketplace, a broker or your employer, our priority is to make sure you have the tools and resources you need to make the best decisions about coverage and use your care effectively.

Mike Frank
President, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana

Recent Updates

Retail Updates

Developments on the Tax Reform Bill

Dec. 04, 2017

The Senate passed the tax reform bill on December 2. The differences between the Senate version of the tax bill and the one passed by the House must be settled before it's signed into law.

Nothing will change for now. We encourage customers to keep shopping for or renew their coverage during this open enrollment period which ends December 15. There's only one open enrollment period each year so, customers need to purchase by December 15 to make sure they have coverage in 2018.

Open Enrollment for Individual Health Plans is Here

Nov. 01, 2017

For more than 75 years, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana (BCBSMT) has been committed to providing access to quality, cost-effective coverage to as many people as possible, and we’re once again ready to help consumers in Montana choose the individual coverage that best meets their needs.

BCBSMT is pleased to continue to offer Montanans products both on and off the exchange in every county throughout the state in 2018. Product specialists are available for consumers who need help shopping for a plan at 855-813-1465 and are available every day from 7 a.m. - 9 p.m. Mountain Time. Our business starts and ends with our members, and BCBSMT is ready to serve as a go-to resource for customers for help reviewing all their choices and finding the best fit for their health care needs.

Important Actions on Health Care from the White House

Oct. 25, 2017

Recent executive action, along with the announcement to stop funding of cost-sharing reduction payments (CSRs), has once again put a spotlight on health care. Regardless of the action taking place in Washington, D.C. one thing is certain: our continued focus on providing access to health care in Montana.

The decision to stop the CSR payments doesn’t impact our market participation.BCBSMT has accounted for the uncertainty around the federal government’s funding of the member’s CSR benefit in our rates.

It's also important to note that the Administration's decision on CSRs isn’t related to the Advanced Premium Tax Credit (APTC).The APTC is federal aid available for people who earn less than 400 percent of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL), and lowers the monthly premium for Marketplace (on-exchange) plans. The APTC is paid by the federal government straight to insurers each month. No payments are made directly to consumers.

We’ll share more news about the Executive Order and next steps as it becomes available.

Group Updates

Quarterly Drug List Updates for Employer Groups

Oct. 02, 2017

Each quarter, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana (BCBSMT) prescription drug lists for our group customers are reviewed and updated. Drugs can be added or removed from the lists due to pharmaceutical industry changes and to make sure the medications on the drug list are safe, effective and affordable.

It’s important to note that generic equivalents are available for most medications excluded from a drug list. Members should discuss any medication concerns with their doctor or pharmacist.

Fourth quarter changes for most non-regulated employer group plans go into effect on October 1, 2017. Affected members would have already received a letter detailing the updates. Members may call the number listed on the back of the BCBSMT member ID card with questions.

Changes and effective dates may depend on group funding type (fully insured/self-funded), plan renewals and the specific prescription drug list the group has selected.

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