SC Blue Cross Launches Affordable Group Health Insurance Plan

Armen Hareyan's picture
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BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina last month introduced Blue SpectrumSM, a rebranding of the company’s health insurance plans that also adds less-costly affordable health insurance plans designed for groups and individuals seeking more options.

"With increasing health care costs forcing rising premium prices, some individuals and employers are either dropping their insurance or not picking it up to begin with," said BlueCross BlueShield Division President David Pankau. "With the introduction of a variety of new product designs, we are providing options that might help companies continue to provide health insurance coverage."

Blue Spectrum eventually will include several layers of health plan options for small group employers and individuals. Business BlueSM is a series of plans for groups of two to 50 employees, and Personal BlueSM plans accommodate individuals. Three group products are now available under Business Blue: Business BlueSM Complete, a full coverage plan; Business BlueSM HDHP; and a new plan called Business BlueSM Secure.

Business Blue Secure offers similar coverage but adds cost reduction factors that allow for a lower premium. It addresses the needs of employees who want a plan with good benefits, and it helps the employer in balancing coverage and costs.

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Later this year, additional plans will be introduced under the Blue Spectrum portfolio, including the first new individual plans to be offered by BlueCross in over 10 years. The new plans include:

* Business BlueSM Basic and Personal BlueSM Basic, which offer the lowest premiums and meet basic insurance needs, such as access to health care without fear of large medical bills.
* An individual plan available for local chambers of commerce members called Personal True BlueSM, an addition to the existing group plans available to chamber members.
* Two high deductible health plan (HDHP) group plans called Business BlueSM HDHRA, designed to offer a health reimbursement account (HRA) option integrated with the HDHP.

All BlueCross members will benefit from BlueCross’ PPO network, the largest in the state, and the Blue Card Worldwide® network that allows in-network access to providers in other states served by other Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies.

Business Blue Complete, Business Blue Secure and Business Blue HDHP, all of which agents began quoting in May, are the first products launched under the overall group of Blue Spectrum plans. The rest will be available in the third and fourth quarters. All new and existing group and individuals will have transitioned to the new products or new product names by late 2009.

Headquartered in Columbia, S.C., BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina and its family of companies include more than 20 subsidiaries involved in health insurance services, U.S. DoD health plan and Medicare contracts, and other insurance and employee benefits services.

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Comments

My daughter has Blue Cross Insurance as an employee of the University of South Carolina. She is in her 13th week of a high-risk pregnancy. She has homocysteine, and therefore needs a blood thinner. Blue Cross canceled her prescription last week. How can an insurance company cancel her Lovenox coverage in such a situation, and then refuse to cover a prescription for Heparin? Previously, my daughter has had four miscarriages, so you can understand her anxiety at this time. Please reply.
I'm actually in my 13th week of a high risk pregnancy and have BCBS group plan its almost $700 per month and the $2000 deductible starts over only 2 months into our coverage meaning we met the deductible to finally start getting them to cover stuff then a week after we meet it, it starts all over at $0 for us to have to meet all over again simply because we got on the plan in March and his boss happened to get the plan in May 10 years ago, so each May the deductible drops to zero, but we j6st got on it and met it in 2 months and now its gonna be zero again? They always have excuses not to cover this and that after we pay $700 each month, they say this isn't a covered charge or this don't apply towards the deductible or we don't cover this, its way too expensive to afford the $700 a month just for me p,us a $4000 deductible, then a ton of stuff isn't covered and I see a maternal fetal specialist WEEKLY throughout my entire pregnancy since mg very 1st appointment! I get weekly hormone shots too and bi weekly ultrasounds however they only cover 2 ultrasounds, so this will be a very very expensive high risk pregnancy with BCBS. Luckily his boss notices its too expensive even for his own family and is looking around for different group coverage!
What is the average cost of an affordable health insurance in Columbia, SC or in South Carolina in general? I am hoping it is still affordable not only for businesses, but also for families and individuals.