This past year, benefit-eligible employees had the opportunity to earn a 20% deductible discount on the $1,000 and $2,000 deductible medical plans offered by SMU through Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX). The $2,500 and new $5,000 high deductible plans are not eligible due to IRS regulations.
If you completed both an on-campus health screening or alternative screening and the online Health Risk Questionnaire in 2012 prior to November 30, you’ve earned the deductible discount for 2013.
Note: We do not anticipate offering the BCBSTX Deductible Discount program beyond 2014.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I earn the discount for 2014?
You will qualify for a discount in 2014 if you completed an on-campus screening or submited your screening results from your physician prior to November 29, 2013. Your screening must have occurred sometime in 2013 prior to the deadline for submission. The WebMD Health Questionnaire is not required for 2014. See appropriate links to the right for additional information.
May I still earn the discount for 2013?
No, it's too late to earn a discount for 2013. Participants needed to complete an onsite or alternate screening by November 29, 2012.
How does the deductible discount work?
The discount really isn’t a “discount” in the traditional sense of the word. In early January, 2014, BCBSTX will make a payment against your deductible in the amount of $200 or $400, depending on your plan choice. Your actual deductible does not change in their system, so it will always show as $1,000 or $2,000, however you will only be required to satisfy the remaining portion of it.
When will the deductible discount be applied?
Because it’s a manual process for BCBSTX, it typically takes a few weeks for all the entries to occur. They start on it in early January and we will email you once we have confirmation that the payment has been applied.
How do I know the discount has been applied?
Unfortunately, this doesn’t trigger an “Explanation of Benefits” or EOB, so you don't get notified by BCBSTX. Wellpower will email participants when BCBSTX verifies that the payments have been entered. The only way you can verify the payment is to call the customer support line at 1-877-768-2005 and ask how much of your deductible has been met. Ask the customer service representative to look for a payment of $200 (for the $1,000 deductible plan) or $400 (for the $2,000 deductible plan). The representative won’t know anything about the deductible discount program, so refer any additional questions to Wellpower. Please don’t do this, however, until late January so that BCBSTX has time to apply the payments. Also, please remember that the discount cannot be applied to the high deductible plans of $2500 or $5000.
What if I have a procedure in early January 2014, before the payment is applied?
BCBSTX will refund any excess payment toward your deductible. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you need help with that issue.
Can my spouse or my dependents participate in this program?
No, at this time the deductible discount program applies only to benefit-eligible employees of SMU. The payment will be made toward your deductible only; it will not extend to others covered on your plan. If both you and your spouse/dependent are benefit-eligible employees, you must both complete the screening and Health Risk Questionnaire by the deadline to qualify.
What information does SMU get about my screening?
SMU gets a “group snapshot” that reports on our total population and tells us about our potential areas of risk and where we’ve improved or worsened. This information helps us shape our wellness education and programming for the future. Be assured that we take your private health data seriously, and no individual data is ever viewed or shared with anyone at SMU. We also get your name and the date of screening completion so that we may accurately give you credit in various programs.
Why is SMU phasing out this program?
One of the reasons is that many of our employees now participate in high deductible plans, which are ineligible for the discount due to IRS regulations. For those who do receive the discount payment, many will not reach their deductible by the end of the year which means the discount is not actually helpful to them.
In addition, SMU has been seeking other methods of encouraging staff and faculty to not only get an annual screening, but to take meaningful action if their screening numbers were outside of the healthy range. As a result, SMU HR is piloting the Healthy Outcomes program in 2014 to determine whether participants in it successfully improve their screening numbers if needed, or maintain their already good health. The Healthy Outcomes program offers a $300 cash incentive to those participants who successfully complete the program.
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