California Carrier Partner Updates


Posted: July 9, 2018 by Staff Writer

Here’s an overview of recent updates from our carrier partners. For details on any specific update, click on the related link.

Multiple Carriers

  • 10/1 Quoting:Word & Brown is now quoting for multiple carriers for 10/1; click here to read about who is changing rates for 10/1 and which carriers have a rate pass.


Blue Shield of California

  • Value Drug Formulary: A new prescription drug formulary is now available for groups seeking a lower-cost formulary option. Some drugs have been moved to higher tiers or removed from the formulary, while non-formulary drugs now require a medical necessity exception.
  • Benefits Management Tool Upgrade: An enhanced Employer Connection Plus (EC+) benefits management tool was launched in June. For additional information, download the FAQ document.
  • Compensation Change for 101+ Groups: Effective October 1, 2018, Blue Shield is transitioning from a commission-based payment model to a Producer Service Fee (PSF) payment model for brokers with fully insured employer groups with 101+ eligible employees. The change does not affect Individual & Family Plans (IFP), Small Group Business (SGB), Senior plans, or Specialty products (Dental, Vision, and Life). Click here for details.


CHOICE Administrators

  • Kaiser Permanente Bonus: For 50+ groups enrolled in CaliforniaChoice for coverage effective through 1/1/19, you can earn an added $50 on each full-time employee who chooses Kaiser Permanente – even when others in the group select a different health plan from CaliforniaChoice. Get the details here.
  • Exchange Expertise: Word & Brown has more than 22 years of experience with CaliforniaChoice, which means you get all of the benefits of CaliforniaChoice backed by our commitment to service. Find out more here.
  • Fast Facts: If you have clients interested in CaliforniaChoice, share the Fast Facts brochure with them – it highlights benefits such as greater employee choice, Defined Contribution, and optional benefits. Click here to download the brochure.
  • Western Health Advantage (WHA) Update: Canopy Health, which is available through WHA, has expanded into the South Bay area in Northern California. Two new medical groups and three hospitals are now available to WHA members – boosting the Canopy Alliance to nearly 5,000 physicians, 18 hospitals, and dozens of care centers across eight Bay Area counties.


Health Net

  • New Census Enrollment Tool: Health Net has released an updated enrollment tool for new plans effective 7/1. Go here to download the spreadsheet.
  • SBG underwriting guidelines effective 7/1 are also now available. Contact your Word & Brown representative. Click the links below for each guideline.
    Enhanced Choice
    EnhancedCare PPO Choice
    Dental and Vision
    Health Net Life


Kaiser Permanente

  • 50+ Case Bonus: You can earn $50 per member for new groups with 50+ full-time employees effective July 1, 2018, through January 1, 2019. Even if only some employees enroll in Kaiser Permanente, you can still earn a bonus. Click here for details.



  • New El Centro Provider: Imperial County MediExcel members have a new provider option – All Valley Urgent Care. Appointments are available Monday through Friday from 4:00 to 11:00 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays from noon to midnight. No appointment is necessary.



  • Double Up Your Bonus on Oscar New Business: You can earn two bonuses on your Oscar Small Group business in Los Angeles County and Orange County. Click here to learn more.



  • New Benefits Added: Fully insured groups effective June 15, 2018, have transitioned to a new Healthy Pregnancy Program featuring more personalized benefits. Added discounts are now available through the Rally Marketplace on fitness devices, movie tickets, sporting events, and more for fully insured and self-funded groups.
  • NEW: Six Small Group plans are available for quoting for coverage effective June 1, 2018. Click here to read the Word & Brown Newsroom story and watch for an email on upcoming webinars.


Contact your Word & Brown representative if you have questions.

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