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June 2023 Broker Newsletter

Thursday, June 15, 2023

Please Note Our Upcoming Holiday Hours

In observance of Juneteenth, Towne Benefits will be closed on Monday, June 19. As the oldest known celebration of the end of slavery in the United States, Juneteenth is a time to come together in kindness and honor our diversity.

We look forward to working with you when we return on Tuesday!

Anthem Make-up CE Classes

Click here to register!

Anthem will hold make-up virtual continuing education (CE) courses on July 18 and July 20, 2023, totaling eight hours of approved courses for Virginia resident agents only. These are makeup courses from January, so if you received your credits, you will not be eligible to retake these courses.

You must register in advance to receive credit. Registration will close Friday, July 14th. Courses will include:

July 18 (Life and Health credits)

    • Telehealth & Insurance - What's the Connection? - Course #224800
    • The Uninsured - Course #224991
    • Getting Well - Increasing Employee Engagement - Course #224798
    • Getting the Low Down on STD - Course #224799

July 20 (Ethics, Laws and Regulations credits)

    • Understanding the Changes to The Virginia Insurance CE Programs - Course #224801
    • Legislative Update - Course #224859

Important Updates from Optima Health

Effective June 1, 2023, Optima's headquarters has a new mailing address. The new address is PO Box 66189, Virginia Beach, VA 23466. Optima's phone numbers and email addresses remain the same. The remit address for premium payments also remains the same.

Effective July 1, 2023, Optima's legal entity names will change as follows:

    • Optima Health Plan (HMO, POS products) --> Sentara Health Plans
    • Optima Health Insurance Company (PPO products) --> Sentara Health Insurance Company
    • Sentara Health Plan, Inc. (Administrator for self- and level-funded groups) --> Sentara Health Administration, Inc.
    • Optima Health Behavioral Services --> Sentara Behavioral Health Services, Inc.
    • Optima EAP --> Sentara EAP

You may still see the name Optima Health on materials, ID cards, and in conversations until the end of 2023. Official name change notifications will begin going out to employers and members starting in July. 

In August 2023, they will begin a new marketing campaign to introduce their new name and look. This will include social media, digital advertising, radio, and other media.

In October 2023, open enrollment and renewal materials for Medicare members, individual product members, and employer groups effective January 1, 2024 and after will reflect the new name and branding.

Effective July 1st - Virginia Unpaid Organ Donor Leave

On April 12, 2023, the Virginia House of Delegates adopted the governor's recommendations and enacted legally protected leave for organ and bone marrow donation. Senate Bill 1086 requires Virginia employers with 50 or more employees to provide eligible employees with up to 60 business days per 12-month period of unpaid organ donation leave and up to 30 business days per 12-month period of bone marrow donation leave. Employees are eligible if they have worked for the employer for at least a 12-month period and 1,250 hours during the preceding 12 months.

While the leave is unpaid, the law requires employers to restore employees to the position they held before the leave began, or an equivalent position with equivalent pay, benefits, and other terms and conditions of employment. Employers must maintain the employee's health benefits during the leave in the same manner as if the employee did not take leave and pay any commissions during organ donation leave that become due because of work the employee did before taking leave. Click here to learn more!

Medicaid Disenrollment Webinar | Thursday, June 29, 2023 | 2:00 - 2:45 PM

Medicaid eligibility reviews are well underway, and Anthem has the latest information you need to help disenrolled members stay covered. Join them for a Medicaid renewal webinar on June 29 where experts will share valuable updates and answer your questions.

The Medicaid Renewal: DSNP, CHP, QHPs, and Other Keys to Care and Coverage webinar will explore:

    • The current state of Medicaid eligibility reviews, disenrollments, and timelines
    • A summary of coverage scenarios for individuals
    • How we’re helping members avoid gaps in care if they change plans
    • Your pre-submitted questions, answered by our panel of experts including:
      • Gina Boscarino, Director of Public Policy
      • DaWana Stubbs, MD, Regional Vice President, Senior Clinical Officer

Rob Ruiz-Moss, Vice President, Individual Segment