Claremont Insurance Services, Walnut Creek, Californian General Agency


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Blue Shield Q4-2019 Small Business Rates and Updates

Blue Shield Q4-2019 Small Business Rates and Updates

Blue Shield Q4-2019 Small Business Rates and Updates, Carrier News,

Blue Shield has announced the Q4-2019 statewide average rate action is 1.8% for both PPO and HMO plans. Rate actions vary by region and network; regional rate actions for PPO plans range from -5.5% to +5.9%, and rate actions for HMO plans range from -0.9% to +4.3%.


  • Group renewal packets include a “Choice Chart” with quote estimates for alternative plans.
  • Groups on Full PPO plans may be able to reduce premiums by 3% to 12% by switching to Tandem PPO plans. Varies by region and plan selection. 
  • Groups on HMO plans may be able to reduce premiums by 11% to 32% by changing to a Trio HMO plan. Varies by region and plan selection. 
  • View all the rates.

Digital Delivery of Q4 Renewal Kits

  • Each small business group will now have a unique microsite which will contain all materials previously printed and mailed, making it easier to search, share, and save.
  • Three ways to access these sites:
    • An email will be sent to the group administrator with a link, log in, and password.
    • A one-page letter will be mailed to the group with a unique URL, log in, and password.
    • Brokers will have access to all of their groups’ sites through Kitworks.
  • A reminder email will be sent if the site is not accessed within a week. If no action is taken within 10 days, a paper packet will be mailed to the group.
  • Delivery of online renewals will be consistent with your current renewal experience.
  • Beginning with October groups, renewal packets will also include a new “Options” page presenting dental and vision plans, with rates for groups that currently offer only medical plans.
  • To help you become familiar with the enhanced customer renewal experience, download the Small Business Renewals Online Guide.

Bundled Savings on Small Group Specialty Coverage

As a reminder, Blue Shield’s Bundling Discount program offers a 10% savings on dental and vision premiums when added to groups with Blue Shield of California medical plans, effective dates starting January 1, 2019. Download the flyer to learn more.

2019 Broker Bonus Programs

Small Business Medical Incentive Program

  • $50 per enrolled new member for small business Off-Exchange medical plans.
  • $50 more when a member enrolls in a Trio HMO or Tandem PPO plan as part of the initial sale or during renewal.

Small Business Specialty Bonus Program

  • $10 for each new member enrolled in a dental plan.
  • $5 for each new member enrolled in a vision plan or life plan.
  • Double your bonus for dental, vision, and life enrollments with a Specialty triple-play, and earn $40 per member enrolled in all three.

Get the full details for the medical and specialty plan bonus programs.

Rewards and commission schedules are available on Blue Shield’s Broker Connection.

Bronze PPO Plans Reminder

To comply with California regulations, some of the off-exchange Bronze PPO plans have been updated, effective for Q3 2019 new and renewing groups. The changes were required by DMHC to meet metal level actuarial values.

  • Groups enrolled in the Bronze PPO 3750/65 plan will renew into the Bronze PPO 4500/70 plan.
  • Groups enrolled in the Bronze PPO 5700/65 plan will renew into the Bronze PPO 6000/65 plan.
  • Both plans now include combined medical and pharmacy deductibles.
  • Renewal materials include an “Options Census” showing the relative costs of switching to this plan.

View and compare 2019 small business medical plan options by visiting Blue Shield’s Plan Comparison Tool. Use the 2019 updated forms and applications, including the Enrollment Spreadsheet, available on Blue Shield’s Broker Connection.

New Verification When Calling Producer Services

  • Effective July 1, 2019, brokers will be required to provide their Producer ID from Incentive Compensation Management (ICM) statements for verification purposes, to provide more secure validation of caller information.
  • For brokers who do not have access to the ICM Producer ID, Producer Services will continue to accept your Tax ID or social security number for verification until brokers have become familiar with the new process.


Visit Blue Shield’s Broker Connection to learn more.

Contact your Claremont team at 800.696.4543 or



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