Have you received your Blue Shield of California health insurance premium credit yet? Blue Shield is issuing a one-time credit of 10% on monthly medical premiums and 30% credit on monthly dental and vision premiums. The credit is calculated on the October premium amount.
Health Insurance Premium Credit For Some Plans
Not all Blue Shield health plans will be receiving the premium credit. The credits will be applied to fully-insured employer groups (except flex-funded), dental and/or vision plans, Medicare Supplements, and individual and family dental and/or vision plan subscribers. Blue Shield states they are issuing premium credits as permitted by state regulators and Covered California.
There are several different agencies that regulate various insurance products offered by Blue Shield. The different rules can prevent carriers from unilaterally applying changes or credits across the spectrum of all their plans and products. An insurance plan change permitted by the Department of Insurance may not necessarily be allowed by the Department of Manage Health Care. Some Blue Shield insurance plans are regulated by the Department of Insurance and other plans come under the review of the Department of Managed Health Care.
Blue Shield of California is implementing the premium credit program independently of any other carriers. Credits will be applied beginning in November 2020 billing statements. The credit may appear on the statement before the employer group or subscriber receives information from Blue Shield. The credits will start being generated in mid-October in the following sequence: Medicare Supplements, Individual and Family Dental and Vision Plans, Small Groups, and Large Groups. Small group plans through Covered California will have the credit processed in November.
Blue Shield Credit Applied Automatically
The premium credit will be applied automatically and no action is required on the part of the group or subscriber. A Blue Shield member cannot apply for the premium credit. Individual and family plans, purchased either directly through Blue Shield or from Covered California are not covered by this program. The credit may vary for some groups and subscribers based on plan changes and new enrollments close to the beginning of the November billing cycle. There was no information on how the premium credit will impact any potential Medical Loss Ratio refund.
Why is Blue Shield providing premium credits? From the Blue Shield page on the credits, “Blue Shield is committed to our mission of providing access to high-quality health care that is sustainably affordable. Premium credits are one way we provide financial relief to our valued customers during the national health crisis and ensuing financial challenges.”