logo

Canopy Nation Blog

Uncategorized
Christina Babu

About your BCBS coverage and Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare

Effective Jan. 1, 2023, a term agreement between BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee and Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare expired. Because you are a BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee member or because you access care through the BCBS-TN network, any care you and your family seek at the hospital system is considered “out-of-network” and you could face hefty out-of-pocket payments. For members in Network P, the following facilities and affiliated providers are now considered out-of-network: Methodist University Hospital Methodist Healthcare – Germantown Methodist Healthcare – North Hospital Methodist Healthcare – Olive Branch Hospital Methodist Healthcare – South Hospital Methodist Blood and Marrow Transplant Center Methodist Comprehensive Breast Center – Germantown and Midtown locations Methodist Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital Methodist Le Bonheur Germantown Methodist Le Bonheur Germantown Surgery Center Wolf River Surgery Center (effective Oct. 23, 2023) For members in Network S, the following facilities have been removed from your coverage: Methodist Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital Methodist Le Bonheur Germantown Methodist Alliance Home Care Services Methodist Alliance Home Medical Equipment Methodist Healthcare Minor Medical Center (Cordova, Hacks Cross, Midtown Memphis, Olive Branch) Methodist Le Bonheur Germantown Surgery Center Wolf River Surgery Center (effective Oct. 23, 2023) Methodist Alliance Hospice (effective Oct. 31, 2023) Remember that if you have a true emergency, please go to the closest emergency room, including those at Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare facilities. Also, please note that this change does not impact providers who are part of Methodist Le Bonheur-affiliated physician groups, only the facilities. We realize that Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare may be your top choice for many health care services in your community, and this agreement expiration could limit your access to care at a critical time. BCBS-TN members will continue to have access to the full range of quality care from other Memphis-area providers, including Baptist Memorial Health Care system, St. Francis Hospital and Regional One Health. Please call the number on the back of your Member ID or visit bcbst.com for help finding alternative care options. Check out BlueCross BlueShield’s FAQ page for additional information. CanopyNation will continue to provide additional updates as we gain more information. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to your primary point of contact on our team with any questions or concerns.

Read More »
Insurance Tips
Christina Babu

Long-term Care Insurance: Is it Worth It?

More employers are adding options for long-term care insurance to their employee benefits packages. As the average age of our nation’s population increases and life spans extend longer, the U.S. is seeing a growing need for long-term care. Most people forget to plan their health care coverage past retirement, and health plans like Medicare and private health insurance plans typically do not cover expenses for ongoing chronic care, such as nursing homes or a home health aide. Because some types of long-term care require skilled help, it is rarely covered by regular health policies. Let’s look at this hypothetical example. Betty is a retired, independent 80-year-old living alone and depends on health care coverage through Medicaid. After experiencing a fall and breaking her hip, she has to stay in an assisted living facility for six months until she is fully rehabilitated. The cost of the facility is $4,000 per month. Her Medicaid coverage may pay for the services and care she receives but not the room and board at the assisted living facility. Because she’s retired, she’s been living on a fixed income and is at risk of depleting her savings to afford living at the facility. With long-term care insurance, Betty would have the necessary funds to cover her stay, and she would not have to tap into her savings. So, what is long-term care insurance? Long-term care insurance plans help offset costs in the future for nonmedical and medical care services if you’re unable to independently care for yourself – physically or mentally. It helps cover care for those who require assistance performing daily activities or need assistance due to cognitive impairment from accident, illness or advanced age. Such plans help with costs for care given to patients at home or in assisted living facilities or skilled nursing facilities. Without long-term care insurance, you are at risk of receiving hefty health care bills if you find yourself in need of ongoing chronic care. Even the most diligent savers may not be able to afford the exorbitant out-of-pocket costs for long-term care. The number of employers offering long-term care insurance is rapidly growing. Likewise, more employees are viewing it as a primary benefit, equally as important as life or disability coverage. Here are some key considerations for providing long-term care insurance to your employees: Long-term care is not only for the elderly. An average of 8% of people between the ages of 40 and 50 have disabilities that could require long-term care. An estimated 70% of people above the age of 65 will eventually need some type of long-term care. Women generally live longer than men, so they may need more long-term care. Younger participants may pay lower premiums than participants older than 60. If you’re not offering long-term care to your employees, it might be time to consider adding it as a voluntary benefit. To learn about your options, please contact CanopyNation at hello@joincanopynation.com, and our benefit experts can provide guidance.

Read More »
Company News
Christina Babu

Gauging your employees’ health care literacy

Health care is a complex web of jargon that can even make the most seasoned human resources professionals scratch their heads. With seemingly constant changes and shifting regulation deadlines, it’s no surprise that employees may seem disengaged from their health care. Are you doing your part to keep your employees informed about their benefits? Employee education is the first step to making them active health care participants. Health care literacy helps employees stay informed of the industry’s many facets. Health literacy is the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions. Low health care literacy costs Americans more than $100 billion each year! Contributing factors include overpaying on prescriptions and using the emergency room for non-emergencies. People with a stronger knowledge of the health care industry are better equipped at making medical choices and taking control of how much they spend on care. In general, being an educated health care consumer means taking the time to learn about insurance and medical care options, choosing the most suitable plans and treatments and reviewing medical bills to ensure the charges are correct. Employers can help control health care costs for their whole organization by educating their employees more about health literacy. To gauge your employees’ health literacy, you can survey them with questions such as the following: Are you currently comfortable with your understanding of your health benefits? Are you confident about taking a more active role in your health care purchasing decisions? Do you know how copayments work? Do you know how deductibles work? Do you know what coinsurance is? Do you have an understanding of why you are billed for some health care services and items and not others? Would you be comfortable using a health savings account? Does your culture support workplace flexibility? Do you find open enrollment to be a stress-free process? Are you currently satisfied with the cost of health care benefits from your employer? Health literacy can help employees become wiser health care consumers. The knowledge will guide them in making better health care decisions, such as choosing the right physician, receiving preventive care, reading and fully comprehending medical bills, and having open conversations with their doctors. Educating employees leads to a healthier workforce and, eventually, will lower total costs for all health plan participants within the organization.

Read More »
Insurance Tips
Christina Babu

Containing Costs of Chronic Health Conditions

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 6 in 10 U.S. adults have a chronic disease and 4 in 10 adults have two or more conditions. Furthermore, chronic diseases are the leading drivers of the nation’s $4.1 trillion in annual health care costs and are a significant source of financial pain for employers. What differentiates chronic health care from other types of care? Chronic health conditions require ongoing management over an extended period of time. Some chronic conditions have mild symptoms, while others inhibit a person’s ability to perform everyday tasks. Many chronic conditions, including cancer, diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease, can affect an entire workplace. Treatment of chronic conditions often involves physician visits, extended hospital stays, prescription drugs and expensive treatments, which all contribute to increased medical expenditures and lost productivity for employers. According to the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease, employer health care coverage for an employee with a chronic condition is, on average, five times higher than for those without a condition. Chronic Conditions and Health Care Premiums Unfortunately, many people deferred or delayed care amid the pandemic due to fear of contracting COVID-19. That, paired with employees experiencing long-term COVID-19 effects, means employers may face higher costs than usual as health care utilization and chronic condition spending increase. Additionally, experts report people increasing alcohol and tobacco consumption, poor nutrition habits and reduced physical activity. Such behavior changes during the pandemic are likely to have long-term adverse effects on the general population’s health. How Employers Can Help Employers are uniquely positioned to help combat chronic conditions, which could reduce health care costs and yield a healthier workforce. There are different strategies employers can take to fight chronic disease like making preventive care affordable through medical benefits and also encouraging the use of critical care. One way to help is to accommodate your employees by adjusting policies and programs. Consider providing flexible work options so employees can stay on schedule with appointments, medications and treatments to take care of themselves. Better care means employees will be more likely to remain productive and engaged at work. Keeping health care options personal and targeted can support your employees by keeping them informed, engaged and motivated to make healthy choices. Providing specialized programs that address the common causes of chronic conditions, like tobacco usage, unhealthy diet and lack of exercise can help employees make sustainable lifestyle changes. Employers are often well-positioned to help fight chronic health conditions. Especially today, employers should address and strategize ways to contain costs associated with chronic conditions. In addition, employers can promote health and productivity among their workforces. Following the pandemic, it’s even more critical to get regular health care back on track to help employees better manage their chronic conditions and improve outcomes. Reach out to CanopyNation to learn more about managing health premiums for chronic health conditions.

Read More »
Company Benefits
Christina Babu

Six Employee Retention Strategies for the New Year

In 2022, many economists predicted a “Great Resignation” that would stem from many employees simply quitting. Instead, workers have sought out better jobs. As such, experts have begun referring to the current situation as the “Great Reshuffle.” But regardless of why they may be leaving, retaining top performers remains a struggle for employers. Going into 2023, it’s a good idea to make employee retention a resolution for the new year. Here are some ways that can benefit not only your business but your employees as well.   Review compensation. Pursuing additional compensation that aligns with market value and employee desires could be beneficial to your company. Take a look at salaries and benefits at competing companies and see where you can improve spending for your employees.  Provide meaningful benefits. An excellent health care plan is enticing to workers, but there are many other unique benefits to offer. Pet insurance, identity theft protection and mental health resources are all benefits employees want.  Invest in career development. To improve your employees’ long-term careers, give them a chance to climb the corporate ladder. By enhancing their staffing levels and closing skill gaps, employees have a chance to enrich their careers and you can meet workers’ demands for career advancement. Offer flexibility. Flexible workplaces have become a more popular retention tool in the past few years. Giving employees the chance to work from home, choose their hours or take time off unexpectedly is a benefit that many employees appreciate. Train managers to better support employees. When done correctly, training managers on how to best support and communicate with employees can be an effective, low-cost solution. Providing such assistance can also reduce potential employee burnout for team members on all staffing levels. Encourage communication. Effective communication shows employees that the company values them. Conversely, a lack of communication can make them feel underappreciated, fostering discontentment and low morale. If you are seeking more information about employee benefit solutions and retention, contact CanopyNation today.

Read More »
Insurance Tips
JennaOPR

Seven Tips to Control Health Care Spending

Health care can get expensive, especially if you or your family experiences injuries or illnesses that frequently land you in the doctor’s office or hospital. If you are looking for ways to spend less on health care, consider these tips. Understand how your health plan works. Read your health insurance benefits summary to know what is covered and what your portion of the bill will be for different services and prescriptions. For example, look for your co-pay amounts for different medical services and how much your deductible is. Use in-network providers. Your plan will list the providers that are in-network. If you seek care with these doctors and facilities, you will likely pay considerably less than with out-of-network health care providers. Only use the emergency room for true emergencies. Heart attacks, broken bones and other serious or life-threatening conditions should prompt an ER visit. Less serious ailments like a minor burn or small cut can probably be treated by first aid care, a visit to an urgent care facility or a call to your doctor. Schedule preventive care visits. There is no additional charge for preventive care services if you have health insurance. Examples include annual physicals, vaccinations and cancer screenings, depending on your age. Staying healthy and maintaining awareness of your health conditions are the best way to save on medical care. Carefully review your medical bills. Ask for an itemized bill to check that you are only paying for what you received. Clerical errors can happen when recording treatments and calculating your portion of the bill, so look it over to ensure accuracy. Open a medical savings account. Save for medical expenses by using a tax advantage medical savings account such as a health savings account, flexible spending account or health reimbursement arrangement. Live a healthy lifestyle. A healthy lifestyle contributes to lower health care spending. If you eat well and exercise often, you’ll stay healthier and need fewer medical services. Talk to your human resources team or contact CanopyNation for more information on how your health plan works and how you can maximize its offerings to save money on medical care.

Read More »

Blog