Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan introduces analytic tools to help employers navigate health care reform

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DETROIT, April 14, 2011 — One year after the enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, businesses that cover their employees’ health needs are looking at how to comply with the law’s new requirements with minimal disruption to their business momentum. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan today announced new capabilities to help employers make informed business decisions, remain compliant with the law and continue to offer effective, quality coverage that supports their employees and business objectives.
As Michigan’s largest and most trusted insurer, the Blues are developing a set of customer-configurable health care reform analytics to help employers assess the economic impact of health care reform on their organizations and formulate benefit strategies going into 2014 and beyond. With specific analytics-based guidance from the Blues, employers can weigh whether they want to maintain the health coverage they currently offer, adjust to a lower-cost benefit strategy or switch to a new benefit program design or funding model.
The new analytic tools complement GlidePathSM, BCBSM’s new defined contribution benefit solution that is designed to help employers adapt to the new law while giving them a benefit option that allows them to accurately predict their benefit costs and reduce their administrative burden. GlidePath will be offered as a limited release in the second half of 2011, with expanded rollout to the market planned in 2012.
“As employers plan for the future, they turn to trusted partners to help them navigate change successfully,” said Ken Dallafior, BCBSM’s senior vice president of Group Sales and Corporate Marketing.
“We know employers are counting on Blue Cross to lead the way as a trusted, expert resource on health reform. Our new analytic capabilities will provide information, decision support tools and consultative expertise to assist employers as they navigate the complexities of health reform.
“And as decisions are made, Blue Cross will offer employers tailored solutions to help make their strategy a reality, including consumer-friendly tools to guide and empower employees as they take more ownership over their health care,” Dallafior said.
A goal of health care reform is to make insurance coverage more affordable for consumers. Employers are looking for help designing coverage programs to keep their costs in check and make sure their employees have the coverage they need, while at the same time avoiding employer penalties specified within reform.
One example of the new law’s requirements is a key reform provision requiring employers to offer minimum essential health coverage and meet affordability guidelines for employees starting in 2014. Beginning later this year, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan will introduce the first of many analytic tools to help employers assess the financial impact of certain requirements based on their unique workforce demographics and projected plan costs. These analytics will help employers establish a starting point for future benefit design decisions and enable them to consider a variety of options that can deliver greater sustainability, affordability and transparency in health care.
“Our goal is to provide the tools and information employers need to address increasing costs, manage risks and preserve choice. Our new analytic tools and GlidePath reinforce the value we offer business decision makers, especially as they adjust their benefit programs to comply with health care reform,” added Dallafior.

About BCBSM

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit organization, provides and administers health benefits to 4.4 million members residing in Michigan in addition to members of Michigan-headquartered groups who reside outside the state. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is a nonprofit corporation and independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and is a limited partner of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Venture Partners, L.P., a corporate venture fund that has a minority ownership interest in Bloom Health.  For more company information, visit bcbsm.com.

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