Georgia Department of Community Health Awards New Health Plan Contracts

GDCHLogoThe Georgia Department of Community Health (DCH) has announced the new vendors for the state’s health care coverage for state employees, teachers, school system employees, retirees (and former employees on extended coverage), and dependents. DCH is the administrator of the State Health Benefit Plan (SHBP), which is responsible for coordinating and overseeing the vendors that provide claims administration services and insurance coverage under the Plan.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia (BCBSGA) has been awarded the contract to provide health plan administration and medical management. BCBSGA will coordinate closely with Express Scripts Inc., selected to administer pharmacy benefits, and Healthways Inc., selected to administer wellness programs and related incentives. The new plan contracts will be effective for Plan Year 2014, which begins on January 1, 2014.

“SHBP members have seen years of rising health care costs while, for most, the economic recession has negatively impacted their salaries,” said DCH Commissioner Clyde L. Reese III, Esq. “The plan options for 2014 will provide members with the real possibility of financial relief and ensure that SHBP remains on a solid financial footing.”

More than 650,000 SHBP members statewide will have access to a high-quality provider network and will have the choice of enrolling in one of the three (Bronze, Silver or Gold) consumer-driven, PPO-type plan options offered by BlueCross BlueShield. Enrollees will also be provided the added benefit of a Health Reimbursement Account (HRA). The dollars provided to the SHBP member in the HRA can be used toward eligible medical expenses and will lower the SHBP members’ deductible. The majority of members will have an option available to them that will reduce their monthly premiums.

“This approach will provide administrative and plan coverage efficiencies which are key to SHBP’s fiscal soundness,” said Trudie Nacin, chief of SHBP. “SHBP has taken a member-centered, value-based approach. Throughout the re-procurement, we sought best in practice delivery for our members while achieving the best-value in plan delivery to strengthen our Plan’s fiscal health.”

SHBP will conduct intensive member outreach and education on members’ plan options prior to and during the state’s Open Enrollment and Retiree Change Option Period, scheduled for October 21 through November 8, 2013.

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