RICHARDSON, Texas, Nov. 7, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas today announced the launch of Blue DirectionsSM for Small Business, a private exchange solution for companies with 1 – 50 employees. Blue DirectionsSM for Small Business helps employers elect health and dental benefit plans and customize contribution strategies on a convenient, user-friendly platform which also allows employees to choose group plans or individual marketplace plans1.
Available to small businesses through a BCBSTX insurance broker or agent, Blue DirectionsSM for Small Business' online model makes it easier to shop for employer group health and dental plans, create a competitive employer contribution strategy and enroll in employer health and dental plans online. Blue DirectionsSM for Small Business accommodates a defined contribution or defined benefit strategy to help employers control their employee benefit costs.
"Our new private health care exchange for small business takes the complexity out of designing and administering employee benefit programs by helping business owners make informed decisions, anticipate expenditures and simplify year-round benefits administration," said Bert Marshall, President, BCBSTX. "As the only health insurance carrier today that can offer both group and individual plans in every rating area of the state, BCBSTX is uniquely positioned to serve small businesses in need of increased choice and flexibility."
With open enrollment fast approaching, brokers are in position to help small businesses choose the best coverage for their company and employees. With Blue DirectionsSM for Small Business, employees can review employer provided benefits and see options for coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace in one system. This helps employees navigate their health insurance coverage options in a new and user-friendly way.
A few key features of Blue DirectionsSM for Small Business include:
- Employer Contribution Modeling Tool which provides employers insight into how their contributions affect their employees' eligibility for financial assistance through the Health Insurance Marketplace;
- Online employee enrollment system with benefit administration support;
- Subsidy eligibility estimator tool for employees to determine if they are eligible for financial assistance on the Health Insurance Marketplace2;
- Online Employer coverage election which assists with completion of employer level paperwork;
- No administration fee
Blue Directions for Small Business is available to new and existing BCBSTX small business clients and their employees.
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) – the only statewide, customer-owned health insurer in Texas – is the largest provider of health benefits in the state, working with nearly 80,000 physicians and 500 hospitals to serve 5 million members in all 254 counties. BCBSTX is a Division of Health Care Service Corporation (which operates Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans in Texas, Illinois, Montana, Oklahoma and New Mexico), the country's largest customer-owned health insurer and fourth largest health insurer overall. Health Care Service Corporation is a Mutual Legal Reserve Company and an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.
1 Individual plans generally cannot be purchased with pre-tax contributions made by the employer or employee.
2 Individuals may be eligible for a subsidy on the health insurance marketplace operating in their state and will have to determine that final eligibility through the marketplace itself.
SOURCE Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas