Cigna and Express Scripts Merger Approved

On Monday September 17th Cigna and Express Scripts announced the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice gave approval for their proposed merger. On March 8th, Cigna announced it will pay $52 billion to acquire Express Scripts Holding, the largest pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) in the country. The combined company would be named Cigna and would be based in Bloomfield, CT., where Cigna has its headquarters. Last month shareholders of both companies voted to go ahead with the deal.

September Wellness Newsletter: 10-minute workouts & 6 Benefits of Drinking Water

September Wellness Newsletter: 10-minute workouts & 6 Benefits of Drinking Water

When it comes to exercise, any amount is better than none. The National Institutes of Health recommends at least 30 minutes a day most days of the week. But, this amount is hard for many people to fit into their day. What if you could get healthier with less exercise? Some research suggests that even a few minutes of exercise each day is helpful.

July Wellness Newsletter: "Perscription" for Exercise & Well-being Tips

July Wellness Newsletter: "Perscription" for Exercise & Well-being Tips

Many doctors recommend exercise to help with weight loss, strength and well-being. But, an exercise program may do even more than that. Research shows that exercise can help with certain health conditions. In fact, many people are now getting a “prescription” for exercise from their doctor.

Quarterly Insurance Brief: July 2018

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Quarterly Insurance Brief: July 2018

The Department of Labor (DOL) has updated its model notice for employers to provide information on eligibility for premium assistance under Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP).   Employers that provide health insurance coverage in states with...

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Blue Shield - Stanford Health Sign New Agreement

Blue Shield of California and Stanford Health signed a new multi-year agreement June 1, 2018 for Stanford Medical Center and its physicians and Affinity Medical Group, which had a potential termination date of July 1, 2018. This means that Stanford Medical Center and its physicians are again part of Blue Shield's statewide network with no lapse as an in-network provider for contracted networks.

Blue Shield cannot provided details on the specifics of the contract with Stanford Health, but they are pleased to be able to continue to give their members access to these providers.

Communications

  • Letters to commercial HMO/POS members assigned to an Affinity Medical Group PCP will be sent on June 4, 2018 to let them know they can keep their Affinity PCP.
  • An employer notification will be sent via email to employers with affected members on June 5, 2018.
  • Letters to members who have used Stanford Medical Center in the most recent 12- month period will be sent on June 4, 2018 to notify members they can again use this facility at in-network rates.

If you have any questions please feel free to contacts us!

 

Brown & Brown Update: Blue Shield / Stanford Health Agreement Expires

Blue Shield of California and Stanford Health have been engaged in discussions to renegotiate the terms of Stanford's hospital agreement (HMO/PPO) for Stanford Medical Center/Stanford Healthcare-University Healthcare Alliance PPO professional services, Valleycare Medical Center, and…

Quarterly Insurance Brief: April 2018

Quarterly Insurance Brief: April 2018

The Department of Labor (DOL) has updated its model notice for employers to provide information on eligibility for premium assistance under Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP).   Employers that provide health insurance coverage in states with...

March Newsletter: Gym Fears and Facts About Colonoscopies

March Newsletter: Gym Fears and Facts About Colonoscopies

If going to the gym makes you nervous, you’re not alone. Many people feel uncomfortable going to a new place with new people. But, if you find ways to deal with these fears, you could end up with a healthy habit that makes you feel great!

2018 Health Savings Account Limits

Yesterday the Internal Revenue Service released a bulletin which included IRS Revenue Procedure 2018-18: Inflation-Adjusted Amounts, Revised for Statutory Amendments of the Budget Reconciliation Act. The maximum family annual contribution has been reduced from $6,900 to $6,850. This change is effective immediately. If you allow employees...

February Newsletter: Vision Health and Blood Pressure Facts

February Newsletter: Vision Health and Blood Pressure Facts

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the number one cause of blindness in older adults.
AMD damages central vision, which means things like reading, driving and seeing faces are limited
or impossible. There is no cure for AMD, but there are procedures and steps you can take to help
save vision. Lower your risk of getting AMD with these tips...

January Newsletter: Resolutions and Scam Alerts

January Newsletter: Resolutions and Scam Alerts

If going to the gym makes you nervous, you’re not alone. Many people feel uncomfortable going to a new place with new people. But, if you find ways to deal with these fears, you could end up with a healthy habit that makes you feel great!

Quarterly Insurance Brief: January 2018

Quarterly Insurance Brief: January 2018

Here are the benefit highlights from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
Individual Mandate: The bill zeros out the penalty beginning in 2019 for individuals failing to maintain minimum essential coverage without an actual repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) individual mandate. It is important to note that the individual mandate penalties remains in effect for 2017 and 2018. The IRS has indicated that individual tax returns filed electronically in 2018 will not be accepted unless...

December Wellness Newsletter: Hair Loss and Flu Shots

December Wellness Newsletter: Hair Loss and Flu Shots

Hair loss is a common issue among men and women alike. The U.S. National Library of Medicine says about 50 million men and 30 million women have some degree of hair loss or baldness. Most of the time, this is due to hereditary hair loss. Sometimes, however, hair loss is a sign of a health problem. Hair loss can sometimes be caused by...

CA. New Parent Leave Act

On October 12, 2017, California Governor Jerry Brown signed the New Parent Leave Act (SB 63) ("the Act") into law, requiring employers with at least 20 employees, but less than 50, to provide employees with...