EHA News

EHA News

Medical Exchanges will be reviewed by U.S. Supreme Court in 2012

On March 23rd, 2010 President Obama signed into law the Health Care Reform bill, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). Many of the items of the law have been put into place; dependent children coverage to age 26, no pre-existing conditions for children under age 19, no dollar limits on benefits, expansion of preventative services, but several other items, including the establishment of medical exchanges will be in the forefront this year.

Medical Exchanges are set to be put into place in the United States by January 1, 2014. The purpose is to help provide benefits to the 30 million Americans who currently do not have coverage. How they are planning on accomplishing this is by expanding Medicaid benefits to lower income Americans, and providing subsidies to Americans who earn less than $85,000/year as a family. This new law will cost approximately $938 Billion dollars over the next 10 years.

Each state is allowed to establish their own medical exchanges to help their residents attain coverage. This will allow states to have oversight on the benefits provided, that may vary from the essential set of benefits that the federal government will require to be in place for all Americans. Currently, there are two legislative bills in Nebraska’s Unicameral to establish a Nebraska Medical Exchange. However, our state will be moving cautiously until the United States Supreme Court hears argument about the legality of Mandatory coverage for all Americans. In March, the Supreme Court will hear the arguments and will make a decision by the end of June. A special Legislative session may be held by Nebraska’s Unicameral to start our own exchange once the judgment has been issued by the Supreme Court. If the Supreme Court upholds the law in June, the Educators Health Alliance will support a Nebraska Medical Exchange and will support state legislation to help our residents attain coverage that meets the needs of Nebraska.

EHA Wellness Program Fires Up for December

Firing up our body’s metabolism through exercise is the theme of the fun-filled December 2011 EHA Wellness program, Flab on Fire. Whether you’re a new or seasoned exerciser this program, available to EHA Groups, will help keep you accountable and inspire you to commit to making time for daily physical activity. In addition, the Flab on Fire program will give you ideas on finding opportunities to sneak physical activity, including resistance training and aerobic workouts, into your daily routine.

There are so many health benefits to exercise including activating the body’s natural lipid burners that fight fat, increasing energy, and reducing stress—which are all critical during the hectic holiday season. “We think this is the perfect time of year ignite our healthy-living engines. We hope you’ll join the EHA Wellness Flab on Fire movement and move more in December!” said Linda Kenedy, EHA Wellness Coordinator.

All participants in the Flab on Fire program will receive an exercise sports towel to use during their daily workouts. And, participants who are compliant with the program guidelines for at least 20 days during December will be entered into a drawing for one of two hundred $25 gift cards to improve health and well-being.

Look for promotional posters at your school. Your wellness representative will have details on how to sign up.

Not sure if your school is involved? Need more details to get your school to participate in EHA Wellness? Contact Linda Kenedy, EHA Wellness coordinator, or Howie Halperin, EHA Wellness administrator, at these e-mail addresses: linda@ehawellnessprogram.org howie@ehawellnessprogram.org. The EHA Wellness website is at www.ehawellness.org

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska announces National Dental Network

On January 1, 2012, the Educators Health Alliance members will be able to utilize a new National Dental Network. The Blue Grid, the name for the Blue Cross Blue Shield network, will allow EHA members to have access to participating providers in others states. The Dental Grid is a network of multiple BCBS plans that, when combined, offers one of the largest national PPO networks.

Furthermore, when using these providers, the out of pocket cost will also be lowered. EHA members who live or travel out of state will now be able to go to providers and dental specialist that are closer to them. Just like the National Medical network (Blue Card), the Dental Grid will be seamless to our members for services received outside the state of Nebraska. The Dental Grid network directory will be on-line on December 15, 2011 and you can find it at www.nebraskablue.com.

EHA High Deductible Health Plan Comparison

To do a comparison of your plan and the $2,850 HDHP option, you will need to know how much in deductible and claims that you have paid for the last calendar year, number of office visits, and total cost of your prescription drugs (quarterly drug summary).

High Deductible Health Plan May Save Members Cost

Educators Health Alliance Early Retiree/Direct Bill Webinar

During this Webinar, Kent Trelford Thompson, Group Manager, BCBSNE, and Greg Long, EHA Field Representative, will present the 2012-2013 EHA Early Retiree renewal for our Early Retiree/Direct Bill membership.  The three medical plan options: $600 PPO, $1,500 PPO and $2,850 High Deductible Health Plan with Health Savings Account, will be explained as well as how to enroll in the EHA plan.  Please click on the link to view the 2012-13 EHA Early Retiree webinar.  The two Power Point presentations for the webinar are also available for print/review

EHA 2012-13 Early Retiree/Direct Bill Webinar from Educators Health Alliance on Vimeo.

Educators Health Alliance Renewal Webinar

During this Webinar, Kent Trelford Thompson, Group Manager, BCBSNE and Greg Long, EHA Field Representative, will present the 2012-2013 EHA Renewal.  Information including  new rates and benefits will be reviewed for the September 1, 2012 renewal date.  Please click on the link to view the 2012-13 EHA renewal webinar.  The Power Point is also available for print/review.

2012-2013 Educators Health Alliance Renewal Webinar from Educators Health Alliance on Vimeo.

EHA Announces New Schedule for Setting 2013-2014 Premium Rates

The Educators Health Alliance Board of Directors at their August 2012 meeting decided to change the timing for the setting and release of renewal premium rates for the 2013-2014 plan year, starting September 1, 2013.

The EHA will provide the 2013-2014 premium rates and benefit information to EHA participants on approximately November 1, 2012.  The change is being made to accommodate the new labor negotiation timetable set by the State of Nebraska.  This will enable EHA subgroups and local employee associations to have certain information regarding the cost of health insurance during the 2013-2014 bargaining period.

The EHA will be working with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska (BCBSNE) in September and October to determine the 2013-2014 renewal provisions.

If you have any questions, please contact your BCBSNE Regional Representative or the EHA Plan Advocate.
 
Beth Kernes-Krause
EHA Board of Directors Chair
 
Kurt Genrich                   Sue Warner                    Tara Stevensen
EHA Plan Advocate        North Region Rep.          South Region Rep.
402-217-2042                 402-697-9983                  402-982-8859

EHA Groups Earn 2012 Governor's Wellness Award

 

Attached please find the press release about the Governor’s 2012 Wellness Award Winners as well as a newspaper article about one of our winners.  EHA had eight subgroups that received the award.  Congratulations to Crete, ESU-8, ESU-13, Fremont, Kearney, Leigh, Southeast CC and Western Nebraska CC!

Governor's 2012 Wellness Award Winners Press Release

EHA and NSEA-Retired to hold seminars on Early-Retiree and Medicare insurance options in October

EHA and NSEA-Retired to hold Early-retiree and Medicare information seminars in October

NSEA-Retired and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska will be holding seminars in October to provide important information about changes to the EHA Direct Bill/Early Reitree plans and the Medicare Supplement plan.  
 
Medicare/Medicare Supplement sessions are from 9:30 AM to noon.
 
All EHA Direct Bill sessions are from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM.
 
The morning session covers the basics of Medicare, changes to Medicare's deductible and coinsurance amounts, our NSEA-Retired, BlueSenior Classic Medicare Supplemental Plan (with optional dental coverag), changes to the Medicare Part D prescriptionn drug plans and how to use the Medicare website to research prescription drug plans will be covered. 
 
The afternoon session covers the differences between the three BCBSNE benefit options available to Direct Bill mebers youger than 65.  Information will be shared about how to change to a different deductible if you wish.  Health Saving Accounts (HSA) will also be explained.  
 
The three plan options available to retirees younger than 65 are:
 
$600 Deductible PPO Plan
$1,500 Deductible PPO Plan
$2,850 Deductible, HSA eligible High Deductible Healh Plan (HDHP)

Dates and Locations for the Seminars:

  • Monday, October 15th, Kearney, Holiday Inn, 110 South 2nd Avenue
  • Wednesday, October 17th, Lincoln, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska, 1233 Lincoln Mall*
  • Wednesday, October 24th, On-Line Webinar, see login instructions below**
  • Thursday, October 25th, Omaha, Westside Community Center, 3534 South 108th Street


* No on-site parking available, please park on the East side of the Trinity Lutheran Church parking lot located at 748 South 12th Street (12th & H)
 
** To participate on the October 24 Webinar, please follow the instructions below.  it is recommended that you log onto the webinar about 5-10 minutes before the sessions begins at 1:00 PM CST.  For first-time participants, there will be a short software download (less than a minute) before you can join the session.

To join the October 24th NSEA Medicare Supplement Webinar (start time 9:30 a.m.):

  1. Click on the link below to join the webinar. If it does not appear as a hyperlink, copy and paste the address into your browser: http://bit.ly/EHAOct24
  2. If requested, enter your name and email address.
  3. This meeting does not require a password.
  4. Click "Join".

 To join the October 24th EHA Early Retiree/Direct Bill Webinar (start time 1:00 p.m.):

  1. Click on the link below to join the webinar. If it does not appear as a hyperlink, copy and paste the address into your browser: http://bit.ly/EHAWebinar
  2. If requested, enter your name and email address.
  3. This meeting does not require a password.
  4. Click "Join".

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