Health care professional hands over a medical card to a patient.

Regulatory Changes Bring Updates to ID Cards and Provide for Continuing Medical Care

From time to time, the government introduces legislation that makes significant changes to how people in healthcare do business. In December of 2020, the Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA) was signed into law and included several provisions for health plans and insurers. Two of those changes are discussed below and affect ID cards and how people receive care.

ID CARD UPDATES

Part of the CAA legislation requires health plans and issuers to include information about deductibles, out-of-pocket maximum limitations, and contact information for assistance on any ID cards issued to enrollees on or after January 2022. Blue Cross and BCN members will also be able to see this additional information on their virtual member ID cards starting on January 2022. The virtual cards are available through the member portal at bcbsm.com or through the BCBSM mobile app.

CONTINUITY OF CARE

The CAA also requires insurers to offer anyone who qualifies as a “continuing care patient” the option to elect to continue to receive care for up to 90 days from a provider or facility that has been removed from the patient’s network without cause. If certain conditions apply, this transitional care would be provided as if the provider had not left the network.

Blue Cross and BCN already provided this type of transitional care for continuing care patients in the state of Michigan prior to enactment of the CAA. We have evaluated our processes and ensured alignment with the new law by making updates to our processes and member letters, where necessary.

It’s important to remember that while these laws only apply for Blue Cross when it comes to our contracted providers in the state of Michigan, we offer continuity of care to our out-of-state members whenever possible.

We’ll cotinue to monitor state and federal regulations and provide information for our employer groups. You can also contact your sales representative for more information as needed.

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