2012 News Stories       Email   Print

Cigna Coupon Program Tool to Eating Healthier While Saving Money (12/12)

CPS Closed New Year's Eve and New Year's Day (12/12)

CPS Christmas Holiday Hours (12/12)

ProManage Rebalance to Occur on December 28 (12/12)

Severe Weather Delaying Delivery of Prescriptions (12/12)

Earn Your Be Well Rewards! (12/12)

Cigna Website Maintenance Dec. 16 (12/12)

MetLife Plan Services Has New Design (12/12)

Year-End Reporting Deadlines for the CRSP(12/12)

CRSP Fund Changes Being Made on December 20 (12/12)

Chat Online with an EAP Consultant (11/12) 

Employers Responsible for Distributing SBCs Starting Dec. 1 (11/12)

2013 Summaries of Benefits and Coverage Now Online (11/12)

GEO, PSIE Missionaries Should Place Prescription Orders by Dec. 3 (11/12)

Concordia Plan Services Thanksgiving Holiday Hours (11/12)

Employer Survey will end on November 30! (11/12)

Your Feedback is Important to Us! (11/12)

We Want to Hear from You! (11/12)

Concordia Plan Services Continues Closely Monitoring Health Care Reform (11/12)

CHP Provider Partners Reach Out to Victims of Hurricane Sandy (10/12)

Flu Vaccine Covered Under CHP Preventive Care (10/12)

Helping You Navigate Health Care Reform (10/12)

Concordia Plans Services Recognized as a Healthy Employer (10/12)

National Save for Retirement Week October 21-26
(10/12)

October 10 is World Mental Health Day
(10/12)

Normal Business Hours on Columbus Day
(10/12)

National Save for Retirement Week Oct. 21-27 (10/12)

Walgreens Now Part of Express Scripts' Pharmacy Network
(9/12)

Concordia Plan Services Hours for August 31and September 3
(8/12)

Express Scripts Responds to Victims of Isaac
(8/12)

Share Your Voice. Take the CPS Survey Today.
(8/12)

Concordia Health Plan 2013 Rates, New Calculator Tool Now Available on Website
(8/12)

Website Maintenance - August 14, 2012 (8/12)

Web Pages Dedicated to Keeping You Informed About Health Care Reform (8/12)

Concordia Health Plan ‘Grandfathered’ Status Exempts Coverage of Contraceptive Services (8/12)

The Concordia Retirement Plan Now Has Options! (7/12)

Express Scripts, Walgreens Enter into New Agreement (7/12)

Website Maintenance - July 9, 2012 (7/12)

Experiencing Technical Difficulties with Be Well Rewards Website (7/12)

Health Care Reform Law Continues Moving Forward (6/12)

Concordia Plan Services Hours July 3-4 (6/12)

Express Scripts Responds to Victims of Wildfires, Flooding (6/12)

Rates Set for 2013 (6/12)

Fall Choice, Open Enrollment for the Concordia Health Plan Start Earlier This Year (6/12)

CRSP Fund Share Class Change (5/12)

2012 Personal Statement of Benefits Available Online (5/12)

Concordia Plan Services Hours May 28 (5/12)

Eat Your Fruits and Veggies (5/12)

'Employer Corner' Offers Resources to Encourage Healthy Behaviors (5/12)

LCMS Employers in CHP: It Pays to File for the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit (4/12)

Concordia Plan Services Hours April 5-6 (4/12)

Express Scripts and Medco Move Forward as One Company (4/12)

Cigna Facebook Page Draws Attention to Importance of Children's Dental Health (3/12)

E-Learning Module and FAQ Available to Help Answer Group-Term Life Reporting Questions (3/12)

Express Scripts and VSP Respond to Victims of Severe Weather (3/12)

Payroll Tax Cut Extended Through the End of 2012 (3/12)

EAP Phone Seminars Coming Up in March and April (2/12)

Be Well Rewards Website Up and Running! (2/12)

Recent HHS Contraceptive Mandate Compels LCMS and Concordia Plans’ Responses (2/12)

Earn Be Well Rewards Points By Being Proactive! (1/12)

New E-Learning Module Tackles Topic of Disability (1/12)

Concordia Retirement Savings Plan Calculators Updated for 2012 (1/12)

2012 Salary Deferral Agreement Now Available (1/12)

2012 Be Well Rewards Program Takes Off February 1! (1/12)

SelectAccount Reducing Amount of Paper Sent to Members (1/12)


Cigna Coupon Program Tool to Eating Healthier While Saving Money
Cigna is launching Cigna Everyday Healthy Values, a customized online community that consolidates better-for-me product coupons in one place. By offering coupons for better-for-me products, Cigna encourages healthier purchase decisions.

The Cigna Everyday Healthy Values site is available to both current and potential customers and provides coupons for better-for-me products that meet nutritional guidelines developed by an advisory panel of Cigna and non-Cigna health professionals and meet guidelines based on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s and the Food and Drug Administration’s recommendations.

Healthy eating can be a challenge for all families, regardless of medical conditions, insurance status, financial situation or location. For many, it is a process of making incrementally better decisions. The Cigna Everyday Healthy Values program provides better-for-me options, including healthier options in food categories that may not be traditionally viewed in that category.

A link to Cigna Everyday Healthy Values is available on the front page of www.cigna.com. Please visit the site and share it with your friends and family. (12/12) 



CPS Closed New Year's Eve and New Year's Day
Concordia Plan Services will be closed Monday, December 31, and Tuesday, January 1, in observance of the New Year's holiday. We will resume regular office hours, 7 a.m.-5 p.m., Wednesday, January 2. (12/12)



CPS Christmas Holiday Hours
Concordia Plan Services will be closed Monday, December 24, and Tuesday, December 25, to celebrate Christmas. We will resume regular office hours, 7 a.m.-5 p.m., Wednesday, December 26. (12/12)



ProManage Rebalance to Occur on December 28
Members of the Concordia Retirement Savings Plan (CRSP) can utilize the ProManage PROgram™ to assist with investment allocation. If you participate in ProManage, your account will be rebalanced on December 28 after 4:00 p.m. EST. This rebalance will allow ProManage to take into consideration the recent changes made to the CRSP fund lineup. Your 4th quarter 2012 CRSP statement will reflect the activity associated with the rebalancing by ProManage.

For more information on the ProManage PROgram™, click here.

For more information on the CRSP fund lineup, click here. (12/12) 



Severe Weather Delaying Delivery of Prescriptions
Severe winter weather is impacting UPS service in areas of California, Iowa, and Nebraska. This may impact shipment of Concordia Health Plan members' Home Delivery prescriptions through Express Scripts in these states. 

No UPS deliveries are being made in the following ZIP codes:

California

96011

96013 - 96014

96016 - 96017

96023

96025

96027 - 96028

96031 - 96032

96034

96037 - 96040

96044

96050

96056 - 96058

96064 - 96065

96067

96071

96084 -96086

96094

96097

96134



Iowa

50002

50020

50025 - 50026

50029

50039

50042

50048

50050

50058 - 50059

50066

50070

50072

50076

50107

50110

50115

50117

50128 - 50129

50146

50164

50167

50216

50220

50233

50235

50250

50277

51462

52035

52038

52042

52047

52049

52050

52053

52066

52072

52076

52077

52210

52229

52313

52326

52329

52346

52349

52352

52701

52727

52737

52738

52739

52752

52754

52755


Nebraska

68047

68062

68622

68636 - 68637

68652

68665

68701 - 68702

68711

68713 - 68716

68718 - 68720

68722 - 68726

68729 - 68730

68733 - 68735

68738

68740

68742

68746 - 68749

68752 - 68753

68755 - 68756

68759 - 68761

68763 - 68769

68771

68773

68777 - 68779

68780

68781

68783 - 68784

68786 - 68791

 
(12/12)  


 
Earn Your Be Well Rewards!
There is still time to participate in the 2012 Be Well Rewards program. Don't miss out on your chance to earn up to $300! (All Be Well Rewards activities must be recorded by December 31, 2012, at 5 p.m. ET.)

Also, remember, your employer earns a dollar-for-dollar match on what all enrolled workers and their enrolled spouses earn. What a great way to help earn money for your ministry! For more information and to record your health activities, visit www.BeWellServeWell.com.

If you forgot your password or are having trouble logging into your account, please call 877-263-0239 or send an email to customerservice@IncentOne.com with your name and birthdate.

Redemption Information: Any points that you had earned so far this year and had not redeemed as of December 12 have been automatically redeemed for you and issued to you as a VISA debit card. Any additional points you accrue as a part of the 2012 program and do not redeem will be periodically auto-redeemed as VISA debit cards. The last auto redemption will be January 31, 2013. It may take 4-6 weeks to receive your card(s) during this time period.

You must be enrolled in the Concordia Health Plan (CHP) to be eligible to earn rewards through the Be Well Rewards program. If your spouse is enrolled in the CHP, he or she can also earn $300 in rewards.

The Be Well Rewards program is not available to members enrolled in the CHP Medicare supplemental coverage. (12/12)



Cigna Website Maintenance Dec. 16
Cigna's My Care Allies website (www.mycareallies.com) will be down for maintenance from 6 a.m. - 4 p.m. ET Sunday, Dec. 16. Due to site maintenance, My Health & Wellness Center and the health assessment tool will be temporarily unavailable during this time. (12/12)
 


MetLife Plan Service Center Has New Design
If you use the MetLife, Plan Service Center (PSC) website to remit your worker’s contributions, you may have noticed that they recently made changes. The new site is designed to mirror the participant site, so it will have a similar look and feel to what individual see when they access their CRSP accounts.

The new URL for the Plan Service Center is www.metlife.retirementpartners.com/login.do or if you enter www.mlr.metlife.com you will be redirected to the new website. You can bookmark the site for quick future reference. When you reach the site you will see a box on the right side which has two tabs, one for Participants and one for Plan Sponsors. You will want to select the Plan Sponsors tab and access the center using your existing username and password. After you have logged in, to process your workers’ salary deferrals, you will want to click on the Contribution tab.

Some of the Plan Service Center enhancements include:

  • Intuitive, tab-based navigation
  • Enhanced participation search engines
  • Improved file upload validation

If you need assistance with processing worker deferrals, please feel free to contact MetLife Plan Tech Support at 800-856-7772. (12/12)



Year-End Reporting Deadlines for the CRSP
Prompt year-end reporting for the Concordia Retirement Savings Plan (CRSP) is important. Employers must remit all CRSP contributions withheld during 2012 by the year-end payroll processing deadline in order for workers’ contributions to be used to calculate the fourth quarter 2012 Basic Match.

  • For employers who process deferrals utilizing SOMI (Sheffield, Olson, & McQueen), the deadline is Friday, December 21, 2012, by 3:00 p.m. Central Time. 
  • For employers who process deferrals utilizing the MetLife website (PSC), the deadline is Friday, December 28, 2012, by 12:00 a.m. (midnight) Central Time.

These processing deadlines also apply to the final 2012 Employer Optional Match contributions.
Contributions submitted after the deadline will be used to determine the Basic Match for 2013. Remember, all 403(b) withholdings are reported on the Form W-2 in Box 12 with a code of “E.”

NOTE: The CRSP Plan Document requires that tax-deferred worker contributions be deposited into the worker’s account within 15 business days after the end of the month in which the funds were withheld. (12/12)


CRSP Fund Changes Being Made on December 20
On December 20, 2012, there will be changes made to the fund lineup of the Concordia Retirement Savings Plan (CRSP). Concordia Plan Services will be replacing three of the funds. Each fund will be replaced with new fund from within the same investment class, so participant's money will simply be transferred into the new funds. The funds will be replaced as follows:

Current Funds   New Funds
 Rainier Large Cap Equity Institutional  T. Rowe Price Institutional Large Cap Growth
 Neuberger Berman High Income
Bond Institutional
 Transamerica High Yield Bond I
 Artisan Emerging Markets Institutional  Aberdeen Emerging Markets Institutional

For additional information on the funds offered through the CRSP, click here.

Due to the transfer of funds, plan members' accounts will not be available for transactions from 4:00 p.m. EST on December 20, 2012, until 9:00 a.m. EST on December 21, 2012.

Additionally, if the plan members' participate in the ProManage PROgram™, will have thier accounts rebalanced after 4:00 p.m. EST on December 28, 2012.

Please note, that due to a last minute request from MetLife, the ProManage rebalance was postponed from its originally publicized date of December 21. We apologize for any inconvenience.
(12/12)



Chat Online with an EAP Consultant
Concordia Health Plan (CHP) members* will be able to interact with Cigna’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) telephonic consultants and personal advocates through a new secure and confidential web-chat feature – Click to Chat.

Starting December 3, the Click to Chat pilot, which will go until January 31, 2013, will be available 8 a.m.-4 p.m. CST, Monday-Friday. You can use the web-chat feature for:

• Accessing EAP coverage information
• Requesting EAP authorization
• Behavioral health concerns (i.e., stress, depression, anxiety)
• Legal and financial services

You can find this new feature at www.cignabehavioral.com. Click on “Login to access your benefits” and enter “lcms” next to “Employer ID.” Click to Chat is located near the bottom navigation bar.

*Not applicable for Medicare members (11/12) 



Employers Responsible for Distributing SBCs Starting Dec. 1
Beginning December 1, as required by the Affordable Care Act, or the health care reform law, employers in the Concordia Health Plan (CHP) will be responsible for providing the 2013 Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC) applicable to the employer’s CHP Option(s) to any newly hired workers who are eligible to enroll in the CHP. This includes workers who have never been enrolled in the CHP as well as transferring workers. The appropriate SBC should be provided to the worker at the same time as the Enrollment Form for the Concordia Plans.

Concordia Plan Services recently completed the annual Employer and Member Choice Confirmation mailings which include an SBC(s) for current employers and workers enrolled in the CHP. Due to the member mailing, employers do not need to distribute SBCs to their current enrolled workers.

SBCs for 2013 CHP Options can be found by clicking here. Copies may be printed by the employer in black/white or color. Employers can also request copies by contacting our Call Center at 888-927-7526.

The SBC is a template mandated through the Affordable Care Act which is designed to give a general overview of the medical benefits provided; it does not contain benefit information for everything included in the CHP. The purpose of the SBC is to provide individuals with standard information so they can compare medical plans as they make decisions about which plan to choose. (11/12) 



2013 Summaries of Benefits and Coverage Now Online 
The 2013 Summaries of Benefits and Coverage (SBC) for the Concordia Health Plan (CHP) Options are now available on the Concordia Plan Services website. Click here.

The Affordable Care Act, or health care reform law, requires that all participants in the CHP receive an SBC reflecting their 2013 Option. Concordia Plans will be mailing SBCs to all employers and workers participating in the CHP on November 30 as part of the annual Employer and Member Confirmation mailings.

The SBC is a template mandated through the Affordable Care Act which is designed to give a general overview of the medical benefits provided; it does not contain benefit information for everything included in the CHP. The purpose of the SBC is to provide individuals with standard information so they can compare medical plans as they make decisions about which plan to choose. (11/12) 



GEO, PSIE Missionaries Should Place Prescription Orders by Dec. 3 
GEO missionaries and partner-supported international educators with IMG health coverage and Expatriate Prescription Services (EPS) who need medications in December should place orders with EPS by Monday, December 3, to ensure delivery by Friday, December 21.

EPS overseas pharmacies will be closed December 24-January 1, so EPS would like all orders to be delivered before these closure dates. Placing orders before these dates allows EPS to effectively manage the order and delivery process with our pharmacy vendors. ??EPS can process before the normal refill date due to holiday schedules.

Although EPS can still receive orders during pharmacies closure dates, they will not be delivered until after January 2. Visit www.expatps.com and click on "Place an Online Order." You will see a checklist page and then you will be led to the order form. Please fill out all the information completely and correctly so there are no delays in processing and shipping your order. (11/12) 



Concordia Plan Services Thanksgiving Holiday Hours
Concordia Plan Services will close at 2 p.m., Wednesday, November 21, and will be closed all day Thursday, November 22, and Friday, November 23, to celebrate Thanksgiving.

We will resume regular office hours 7 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday, November 26. (11/12) 



Employer Survey will end on November 30!
Concordia Plan Services wants to hear from you! We want to know how we’re doing; so we’re asking employer representatives to take a few minutes to complete a brief survey about the plans and the services we provide. Here’s your chance to let us know what you think, both what we’re doing right and things we could improve.

You’ve received a postcard encouraging you to take the survey – now taking the survey just got easier! To make sure your opinion is heard, all you have to do is click the link below.

Employer Survey: www.surveymonkey.com/s/2012_CPS_Employer_Survey

The deadline to complete the survey has been extended until Friday, November 30. But don’t delay - the new date will be here before you know it. And remember, this survey is conducted by an independent survey consultant and is completely confidential.

Thank you in advance for your time. Your opinions are important to us.

If you have questions or to receive a printed copy of this survey, contact Bill Finnie, independent consultant with The Finnie Group, at wcfinnie@TheFinnieGroup.com or (314) 397-4862 (days) or (314) 849-4404 (evenings). (11/12) 



Your Feedback is Important to Us!
Concordia Plan Services cares what you think about us and really wants to hear from you. If you haven't completed a brief survey about the plans and the services we provide, please take a few minutes to do so. The worker survey will be available through November 21, and should be completed by enrolled active workers.
 
Worker Survey: www.surveymonkey.com/s/2012_CPS_Worker_Survey

If you have questions or to receive a printed copy of this survey, contact Bill Finnie, independent consultant with The Finnie Group, at wcfinnie@TheFinnieGroup.com or 314-397-4862 (days) or 314-849-4404 (evenings). (11/12)



We Want to Hear from You!
Concordia Plan Services wants to know how we’re doing, so we’re asking our employers and workers to take a few minutes to complete a brief survey about the plans and the services we provide. Here’s your chance to let us know your thoughts—what we’re doing right and areas where we could improve.

Employer Surveys should be completed by the individual who’s most responsible for making the employee benefit decisions in the organization (e.g., church president, business manager, treasurer, human resources coordinator). Worker Surveys should be completed by enrolled, active workers.

Please be candid! The survey is conducted by an independent consultant, and no names will be seen.

The online* survey will be available November 7-21. Don’t delay—click the link below to take the survey today.

Employer Survey: www.surveymonkey.com/s/2012_CPS_Employer_Survey
Worker Survey: www.surveymonkey.com/s/2012_CPS_Worker_Survey

Thank you in advance for taking the time to complete our survey. Your opinions are important to us.

*If you have questions or to receive a printed copy of this survey, contact Bill Finnie, independent consultant with The Finnie Group, at wcfinnie@TheFinnieGroup.com or 314-397-4862 (days) or 314-849-4404 (evenings). (11/12) 




Concordia Plan Services Continues Closely Monitoring Health Care Reform
As the 2012 presidential election comes to a close, Concordia Plan Services President and CEO Jim Sanft wants to take this opportunity to reassure our members and participating employers that we will continue to be vigilant in following the progress and studying the implications of the Affordable Care Act (health care reform legislation).

Click here to read a letter from Jim Sanft. (11/12)



CHP Provider Partners Reach Out to Victims of Hurricane Sandy
Cigna Behavioral Health, Express Scripts, and VSP, provider partners with the Concordia Health Plan (CHP), are responding to the needs of CHP members impacted by Hurricane Sandy.

Cigna Behavioral Health
Cigna wants to remind members about the resources that are available to them and their families. If you are residing in an area that is not experiencing a power outage and have access to the Internet, click here for resources. You will find local resources by state, as well as disaster response resources and information regarding hurricanes and flooding. 

As always, the Cigna Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is available to CHP members 24/7 at 866-726-5267. In addition, Cigna is offering any individual in the impacted areas telephonic consultation with its licensed clinicians. Licensed clinicians are available for non-Cigna EAP customers at 866-912-1687.

Express Scripts
Express Scripts’ emergency procedures for prescription drug fills are readily available to CHP members residing in areas impacted by Hurricane Sandy.

CHP members who reside in North Carolina, West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, Maine, and Washington, D.C, and have lost or damaged medication resulting from the hurricane, are being permitted prescription refills even if the refill occurs sooner than allowed by Express Scripts’ normal standards.* Pharmacies will need to enter a special override code (provided by Express Scripts) in order to process the claims for affected members.

These emergency procedures will remain in effect through November 26 for Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont. Emergency procedures for all other affected states will extend to November 27.

Curascript
Curascript prescriptions heading into the impacted areas listed below will be held by the system and not allowed to process. Impacted patients will be notified of the delay. The impacted states are:

  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • Virginia
  • Washington, D.C.
  • West Virginia

VSP
VSP Vision Care is working directly with network doctors, provider partners, and relief agencies, including the American Red Cross, to assess the situation and fulfill the eye care needs of those directly affected.

Any VSP member who has lost or broken their eyewear due to Hurricane Sandy can call the Member Services Support Line at 800-877-7195 to have their VSP benefits reinstated, regardless of eligibility. (This means that CHP members in these situations can get new glasses even if they are not eligible because they have already received new lenses within the past 12 months or frames within the past 24 months.) 

Individuals without VSP coverage can contact their local American Red Cross chapter and request a VSP eye care voucher.

If members have been directly impacted by Hurricane Sandy and are in need of eye care services, please have them call VSP’s Member Services Support Line at 800-877-7195.

UPS and FedEx Deliveries
UPS and FedEx services in the eastern area of the United States are being affected by Hurricane Sandy. No deliveries are being made to the following ZIP codes:

  • Delaware All ZIP codes
  • Maine All ZIP codes
  • Maryland All ZIP codes
  • New Hampshire All ZIP codes
  • New Jersey 07001-08989
  • New York 10002-10499
  • Pennsylvania 18901-19496
  • Vermont All ZIP codes
  • Virginia 23301-23316, 23336-23488
  • Washington, D.C. All ZIP codes
*These procedures do not apply to CHP members enrolled in HMO Options because prescription drug benefits for these members are administered by Cigna Healthcare. (10/12)



Flu Vaccine Covered Under CHP Preventive Care 
Don’t let the cost of seasonal flu vaccines be the reason you and your family avoid getting vaccinated this season. Flu vaccines are covered at 100%* as preventive services for Concordia Health Plan (CHP) members, including their enrolled dependents.

You can read more about the seasonal flu vaccine and preventive care coverage under your CHP Option by clicking on the applicable Option type below:

Options A, B, C, and D
Option E
Option HDHP 
Options HMO, HMO-C, and HMO-C2
CHP for Seminary Students (Option CSS)

For members enrolled in CHP Medicare supplemental coverage, Medicare Part B will cover the administration of the seasonal flu vaccine. The cost will be subject to the normal payment rules under Medicare. There is no cost to the member if it is administered by a provider who accepts Medicare. If no Medicare providers in the member’s area have access to the seasonal flu vaccine, the vaccine would also be covered by Express Scripts.  

*While there are office visit copays for preventive services for HMO Options, Cigna has found that most primary care physicians will not charge an office visit copay if the only service received is a seasonal flu vaccine. (10/12) 




Helping You Navigate Health Care Reform
Concordia Plan Services continues to closely monitor the Affordable Care Act, or health care reform, so we can share important information and resources with you.

This fall, The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod launched an awareness campaign, “Religious Liberty: Free to be Faithful,” which encourages LCMS church leaders and members to use the many resources available to educate themselves about the importance of religious freedom. Among the resources The Synod has made available through its Free to be Faithful campaign are several pertaining to health care reform. One helpful item is an infographic which provides a high-level comparison of what the Affordable Care Act means to you for various entities in our Concordia Health Plan vs. secular health plans.

For additional resources pertaining to health care reform, visit Free to be Faithful. You can also visit our Health Care Reform News and Information page. (10/12) 



Concordia Plan Services Recognized as a Healthy Employer
Concordia Plan Services has been recognized as a finalist in the 2012 Healthiest Employer contest by the St Louis Business Journal! The Healthiest Employer Awards recognize companies and nonprofit entities that commit to making wellness a priority and proactively shape the health of their employees.

Concordia Plan Services has made a commitment to encouraging health and wellness among all Concordia Health Plan members through the Be Well Rewards program, which is designed to help members establish and maintain healthy habits.

In addition, for our staff in St. Louis, Concordia Plan Services offers monthly Lunch-n-Learns on various health topics, organizes twice yearly healthy eating and physical activity challenges between departments, pays race entry fees for employees who participate in Go! St Louis marathon and fitness events, and provides access to a new on-site fitness center. These healthy activities and facilities are funded by Be Well Rewards dollars.

We have noticed a positive change in our corporate culture due to our wellness programs. A weight-loss challenge, which started this past summer, has resulted in a reduction of 570 pounds for our employees. Over 80% of our staff completed the Go! St Louis Mile-by-Mile marathon, in which participants walk or run 26.2 miles over 6 weeks. About 50% also signed up for a walking or running event during the Go! St Louis weekend.

A survey revealed that, as a result of our health and wellness initiative and Be Well Rewards program, 7% of employees are taking fewer medications, 65% are controlling or improving an existing health condition, 25% have lowered their cholesterol, 27% have lowered their blood pressure, 85% are making healthier food and drink choices, and 87% are engaging in more physical activity.

We are excited to see this shift in our culture and continue to promote health and wellness through our Be Well … Serve Well initiative, Be Well Rewards program, and healthy activities. (10/12) 



National Save for Retirement Week October 21-26
As you cruise down the highway of life, destinations that once seemed far away, like retirement, may now be closer than you think. Concordia Plan Services encourages workers and their families to make sure they have a smooth road to retirement during National Save for Retirement Week, October 21-26.

National Save for Retirement Week is the first congressionally endorsed event calling on all workers to take full advantage of their employer-sponsored retirement savings plan and highlighting the importance of saving for retirement.

Your Concordia Retirement Plan benefits, any additional pension/retirement benefits from another employer(s), and Social Security can provide you with the foundation for your retirement income, but you will still need individual retirement savings. This will play a crucial role in allowing you to have more flexibility in your retirement.

If you are already saving, great! Now is the perfect time to review your salary deferral amount and make sure that you are on the right path. If you are not yet saving, now is the perfect time to start down the road towards preparing for your retirement!

Wherever you are in the planning process, there are resources available to help you prepare for your retirement. For more information, click here. (10/12) 
 


October 10 is World Mental Health Day
October 10th marks the 20th annual World Mental Health Day. The day raises public awareness about mental health issues and promotes open discussion of mental disorders and investments in prevention, promotion, and treatment services. This year, the focus is specifically on depression.

Depression affects more than 350 million people of all ages, in all communities. To help diagnose and treat depression, and other mental health issues, the Concordia Health Plan provides mental health benefits and the Employee Assistance Program (EAP). CHP members can view their mental health benefits by clicking here and selecting their CHP Option. For more about the EAP, click here. (10/12) 



Normal Business Hours on Columbus Day
Concordia Plan Services will be open during our normal business hours, 7 a.m.-5 p.m., on Columbus Day, Monday, Oct. 8. (10/12) 



National Save for Retirement Week October 21-27
Concordia Plan Services encourages workers and their families to plan today for a better tomorrow by participating in National Save for Retirement Week, October 21-27.

National Save for Retirement Week is the first congressionally endorsed event calling on all workers to take full advantage of their employer-sponsored retirement savings plan and highlighting the importance of saving for retirement.

Your Concordia Retirement Plan benefits, any additional pension/retirement benefits from another employer(s), and Social Security will provide you with the foundation for your retirement income, but you will still need individual retirement savings. This will play a crucial role in allowing you to enjoy the retirement you have always pictured.

If you are already saving, now is the perfect time to review and evaluate your retirement plan and determine if you need to make adjustments. If you are not yet saving, now is the perfect time to start!

Wherever you are in the planning process, there are resources available to help you prepare for your retirement. For more information, click here. (10/12)



Walgreens Now Part of Express Scripts’ Pharmacy Network 
Concordia Health Plan (CHP) members, including those with Medicare supplemental coverage, can now return to using Walgreens family pharmacies for their prescription needs.

On September 15, Walgreens pharmacies, including Duane Reade and Happy Harry’s, returned to the Express Scripts pharmacy network. Express Scripts manages CHP members’ PPO or CDHP prescription benefits.

To find all participating pharmacies near you, visit www.Express-Scripts.com, log in, and use the “Find a Pharmacy” feature. Of course, you may continue using your current pharmacy. To transfer a prescription to Walgreens or another participating pharmacy, you can usually bring your medicine bottle (with label) to the other pharmacy to start the process. (9/12) 



Concordia Plan Services Hours for August 31 and September 3
Concordia Plan Services will close at 2 p.m., Friday, August 31, and will be closed all day Monday, September 3, in observance of Labor Day.

We will resume regular office hours 7 a.m.-5 p.m., Tuesday, September 4. (8/12) 



Express Scripts Responds to Victims of Isaac
Express Scripts’ emergency procedures for prescription drug fills are readily available to Concordia Health Plan (CHP) members residing in areas impacted by Tropical Storm/Hurricane Isaac.

CHP members who reside in Puerto Rico, Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi, and have lost or damaged medication resulting from the storm or hurricane, are being permitted prescription refills even if the refill occurs sooner than allowed by Express Scripts’ normal standards.* Pharmacies will need to enter a special override code (provided by Express Scripts) in order to process the claims for affected members.

These emergency procedures will remain in effect for CHP members in Puerto Rico through September 22, and through September 26 for affected CHP members in Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi.

*These procedures do not apply to CHP members enrolled in HMO Options because prescription drug benefits for these members are administered by Cigna Healthcare. (8/12)



Share Your Voice. Take the CPS Survey Today.
Concordia Plan Services (CPS) recently sent members who are in our e-mail database a survey asking how we’re doing. If you received this e-mail, please give us 5 minutes of your time to provide your input. If you did not receive this survey in a recent e-mail from us, click here.

This very quick survey will provide us with feedback that will directly impact how CPS communicates with plan members church-wide. Our relationship with each worker and family member is our top-of-mind concern. We want you to feel that CPS is your trusted partner for a lifetime of physical and financial wellness. (8/12) 



Concordia Health Plan 2013 Rates, New Calculator Tool Now Available on Website
In addition to the 2013 Concordia Health Plan (CHP) rates, Concordia Plan Services has included on its website a new CHP contribution costs estimator tool for employers.

To access the 2013 CHP rate(s), click here. Then select if you are in the category of:
• Active Workers
• Employers
• Deployed Workers
• Inactive, Retired Members, or Dependents of Deceased Members

Enter the requested zip code and click on “View Rates” to see the 2013 CHP rates for your area.
If you’re an employer viewing rates, try the new tool, “CHP Options Cost Comparison Estimator.”

This tool offers employers the ability to compare the costs of CHP Options by simply inserting the number of workers participating in different coverage levels:
• Self Only
• Self and Spouse
• Self and Child(ren)
• Self, Spouse, and Child(ren)
• Child Only

Employers can use this tool to help determine their monthly and annual CHP contributions for any of the CHP Options, with figures based upon the worker enrollment information they enter. The tool can be great resource to help employers evaluate the different costs of CHP Options and find the best fit for their budgets and health coverage goals for their workers.

To access the CHP Options Cost Comparison Estimator, click here. Enter the zip code in the “Employers” category and click “View Rates.” To calculate costs, scroll to the bottom of the page and fill in the applicable data. Employers can also create a PDF document of the results and save for future reference by clicking the “Export to PDF” link. (8/12) 



Website Maintenance - August 14, 2012
The Concordia Plan Services website will be down for maintenance beginning at 7:00 p.m. CT this evening. It is anticipated that the site will be unavailable for an hour. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. (8/12)



Web Pages Dedicated to Keeping You Informed about Health Care Reform
Concordia Plan Services has launched a new section of its website for keeping members of the Concordia Health Plan (CHP) informed about the Affordable Care Act, or health care reform law.

This new section, “Healthcare Reform News and Information,” features:
• Web news stories
• E-Learning presentations and videos
• Publications and resources
• Key decisions and actions for the CHP

We will be adding information to the section over the coming months, so be sure to visit periodically to stay informed. To check out this new addition, click here. (8/12) 



Concordia Health Plan ‘Grandfathered’ Status Exempts Coverage of Contraceptive Services
August 1 marks the date of compliance for health plans to cover the cost of certain women’s preventive care items and services, including contraceptives, under the Affordable Care Act, or health care reform law. Although this mandate will impact many health plans, the Concordia Health Plan (CHP) is considered a “grandfathered plan”* and is not required to comply with this new health care reform mandate, which specifically requires covering the cost of contraceptives.

“Concordia Plan Services has a strong history of care and concern for workers of our church,” said James Sanft, President and CEO of Concordia Plan Services. “The coverage, resources, and services we provide have always been mindful of why we exist and who we serve. We strongly desire to continue supporting our LCMS ministries by administering the Plans in a manner that honors our Synod’s commitment to the Lutheran faith and beliefs.”

As it has for several years, the CHP will continue to cover many preventive care services at 100%** as long as they are provided or authorized by a network physician. These include routine physical exams, gynecological exams, and mammograms, provided there is not a diagnosed medical condition at the time the services are provided.

Click here to learn more about the CHP, what it means to be a “grandfathered plan,” and CHP coverage for women’s preventive health care and contraceptives.

*“Grandfathered Plan” status applies to the CHP. This is not necessarily the case for other health insurance plans through which LCMS workers may have coverage. If you are not a member of the CHP, please check with your health insurance provider. Note: grandfathered status applies to a health plan that made that decision when the legislation was passed in 2010—it does not apply to the denomination. LCMS employers that offer health coverage through a provider other than the CHP should check with their provider to determine coverage requirements.

**All HMO members may incur a copay if services are billed as an office visit. Care that includes diagnosis by a doctor is not included as preventive care, and will not be covered at 100%. (8/12) 



The Concordia Retirement Plan Now Has Options!
Employers now have the opportunity to elect a new Concordia Retirement Plan (CRP) Option for their newly hired, non-rostered workers. The Account Option is offered as an alternative to the current benefits through the CRP, which now comprise the Traditional Option.

The Account Option consists of the new Retirement Cash Account and, for those employers in The Church’s Plan, the Retiree Medical Supplement. The employer can elect to offer the new Account Option, designate the classifications of non-rostered workers eligible to be enrolled in the Account Option instead of the Traditional Option, and select to require an Eligibility Waiting Period for workers who are eligible for the Account Option.

To learn more about the Account Option, and how it may help employers provide their workers with a more competitive, comprehensive retirement benefits package, view our Concordia Plan Update(7/12)

 

Express Scripts, Walgreens Enter into New Agreement
On July 19, 2012, Express Scripts and Walgreens announced that the two organizations have come to terms on a multi-year agreement which allows Walgreens to be included in Express Scripts’ broadest retail network beginning September 15, 2012. As a result, all Concordia Health Plan members, including those with Medicare supplemental coverage, will once again be able to use Walgreens as a network retail pharmacy.

With Walgreens added back to the list of participating pharmacies, the broadest Express Scripts’ network now includes over 64,000 locations to meet the needs of members nationwide.

The CEOs from each organization shared the following comments in a press release:

"As I've said, we are in the business of providing a broad range of pharmacy, health and wellness services to help meet the needs of all of our customers," said Greg Wasson, president and CEO of Walgreens. "I am pleased that Walgreens and Express Scripts have been able to reach an agreement that works for both parties and is consistent with our company's principles. This agreement is good for our shareholders, our employees and the patients and communities we serve every day. We look forward to once again filling prescriptions and offering our health and wellness services as part of the Express Scripts network."

"We are happy to include Walgreens in our broadest network of pharmacies and we are pleased to reach an agreement to do so," said George Paz, chairman and CEO of Express Scripts. "Our business model is based on strong alignment with our plan sponsors -- employers, health plans, unions and government health programs -- providing them with a clinically sound and economically responsible pharmacy benefit."

To see the full press release, click here. (7/12)  



Website Maintenance - July 9, 2012
The Concordia Plan Services website will be down for maintenance beginning at 8:00 p.m. CT this evening. It is anticipated that the site will be unavailable for an hour. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. (7/12)



Experiencing Technical Difficulties with Be Well Rewards Website
We are currently experiencing a problem with our Be Well Rewards website, www.BeWellServeWell.com.

Our Information Technology Department is working on the problem and will get it resolved as quickly as possible. We appreciate your patience and expect to have the “Be Well … Serve Well” website up and running shortly. (7/12)  



Health Care Reform Law Continues Moving Forward
The U.S. Supreme Court has released its ruling regarding the individual mandate portion of the health care reform legislation (or Affordable Care Act).

The Court has ruled the individual mandate portion of the health care reform law (the Affordable Care Act), to be constitutional. Therefore, the health care reform law will continue moving forward at this time. The Court, however, did have additional comments regarding the law’s expansion of Medicaid, and the proposed funding of that expansion; comments that are still being reviewed and studied.

In light of this ruling, Concordia Plan Services will continue to review the legislation and work to implement all applicable components of the Affordable Care Act for the Concordia Health Plan. Throughout the changes on the horizon, rest assured that we are committed to meeting the needs of our plan members and participating employers by:

• Operating the Concordia Health Plan in compliance with the law.
• Sharing information and providing education to help improve awareness of the various opportunities, requirements, and changes necessitated by the law.
• Helping LCMS employers to understand and comply with their responsibilities.
• Helping our members understand their options, benefits, and protections under the law.

Over the coming months, watch for the health care reform section of our website and the Benefits Bulletin for information to keep current and informed as implementation dates for new requirements and/or benefit changes draw near.

Remember, Concordia Plan Services is a resource for you— we will help you navigate the changing landscape of health care reform.

Click here for The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod’s response to the ruling. (6/12) 



Concordia Plan Services Hours July 3-4
Concordia Plan Services will close at 2 p.m., Tuesday, July 3, and will be closed all day Wednesday, July 4, in observance of Independence Day.

We will resume regular office hours 7 a.m.-5 p.m., Thursday, July 5. (6/12)



Express Scripts Responds to Victims of Wildfires, Flooding
Express Scripts is responding to the needs of Concordia Health Plan (CHP) members residing in areas affected by the wildfires in the Colorado and Montana, as well as the floods in Florida.

Express Scripts’ emergency procedures for prescription drug fills are readily available to members of the CHP. By implementing emergency procedures for prescription drug fills, Express Scripts is permitting prescription refills for patients from the disaster areas who have lost or damaged medication resulting from the wildfires and floods. This applies even if the refill occurs sooner than allowed by Express Scripts’ normal standards.* Pharmacies will need to enter a special override code (provided by Express Scripts) in order to process the claims for affected members.

These emergency procedures for CHP members affected by the wildfires in Larimer County, Colorado, will be in effect until July 15, and until July 28 for those members residing in the affected counties of Montana.

CHP members residing in Florida will have until July 27.

*These procedures do not apply to CHP members enrolled in HMO Options because prescription drug benefits for these members are administered by Cigna Healthcare. (6/12)



Rates Set for 2013

The Board of Trustees for the Concordia Plans has approved rates effective January 1, 2013.

The rates for the Concordia Retirement Plan and the Concordia Disability and Survivor Plan will not change.

The rate increases for Concordia Health Plan (CHP) Options are as follows:
• Option A 12.9%
• Option B 9.9%
• Option C 7.9%
• Option D 7.9%
• Option E 6.9%
• Option HDHP 6.9%
• All HMOs 6.9%
• Medicare Supplemental 6.6%

These rate increases reflect the 2012-2013 overall expected trend in healthcare, prescription drugs, and health care reform costs. Employers will receive their official rate notices showing their specific CHP rates along with 2013 CHP Choice election forms and materials by mail in August. (6/12)



Fall Choice, Open Enrollment for the Concordia Health Plan Start Earlier This Year
Concordia Plan Services has scheduled the Fall Choice and Open Enrollment windows to begin earlier this year. This is to ensure that a requirement set forth by the Affordable Care Act, or health care reform law, is fulfilled by December 1, 2012.

Health care reform legislation is requiring that all group health plans and health insurance issuers provide an eight-page Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC) document as well as a Uniform Glossary of Health Insurance and Medical Terms for participants and beneficiaries. The purpose of the SBC and glossary is to provide participants benefit information in a common format, regardless of the benefit provider, and to help them better understand their health benefits. The SBC document must be mailed to every participant, and in some cases beneficiaries, and postmarked no later than December 1, 2012.

To be able to mail each Concordia Health Plan member a SBC specific to his/her 2013 Plan Option by December 1, Concordia Plan Services has set the following schedule for this year’s Fall Choice and Open Enrollment:
• Choice employer election materials mailed August 3
• Employer elections due to Concordia Plan Services September 17
• CHP Open Enrollment period September 21—October 26
• Worker elections and Open Enrollment applications due to Concordia Plan Services October 26
• SBC sent to workers confirming their 2013 elections November 30

We ask for your cooperation and understanding regarding the changes made to the timeline. We understand that some organizations may find the new dates challenging to meet due to previously scheduled committee or board meetings. However, it is very important that all employer and worker health plan elections be returned by the listed deadlines so that we can comply with the new legislative requirement and provide accurate information to plan members.
We encourage you to review the dates and, if necessary, to please schedule a special meeting to decide your 2013 Concordia Health Plan offering that will allow you to meet the targeted deadlines.
As always, if you have any questions, contact Concordia Plan Services at 888-927-7526. (6/12) 



CRSP Fund Had Share Class Change
If you are participating in the Concordia Retirement Savings Plan (CRSP), you will be pleased to know that we had another fund move to the Institutional share class. When a fund moves to the institutional share class, it represents a reduction in the fund’s expense ratio—so you will be spending less on fund fees and saving more for retirement.

On May 31, 2012, the Artisan Emerging Markets Fund had a share class upgrade from the Advisory share class (ticker symbol ARTZX) to the Institutional share class (ticker symbol APHEX). This is a share class change only, and does not affect the fund’s investment objective or strategy.

If you have a portion of your CRSP account invested in this fund, you may see some extra activity on your next quarterly statement that shows the money being transferred from one share class to another.

For additional information on the CRSP and the funds offered, click here. You can also access your personal CRSP account by logging into your account through MetLife's website. (5/12) 



2012 Personal Statement of Benefits Available Online
If you were enrolled in the Concordia Retirement Plan (CRP) prior to January 1, 2012, you can access your online 2012 Personal Statement of Benefits (PSOB).

Log in now to access all of your personal benefits information! (If you were not actively enrolled in the CRP prior to January 1, or if you are currently receiving disability benefits, you might not receive a 2012 PSOB.) If needed, you can find your pin number to log in printed in the copy of your PSOB that was mailed on May 23. This printed copy will contain all the information you need to access your online version.

As always, if you have any questions, contact Concordia Plan Services at 888-927-7526. (5/12) 




Concordia Plan Services Hours May 28
Concordia Plan Services will be closed all day Monday, May 28, in observance of Memorial Day. We will resume regular office hours, 7 a.m.-5 p.m., Tuesday, May 29. (5/12) 




Eat your Fruit and Veggies
The weather is getting warmer – it’s time to break out the shorts, BBQ grill, and delicious summer produce! Fresh fruit and vegetables are back in season; it’s a great time to earn $25 or $50 for eating and tracking your servings of fruits and vegetables through the Be Well Rewards program. Under the program, CHP members* can earn rewards for eating five servings of fruit and vegetables three times a week ($25) or five times a week ($50) for six weeks. For more information and to log on or create an account, visit www.BeWellServeWell.com.

For more information about serving sizes, click here to print off our fruit and vegetable serving size flyers.

Employers: E-mail us to request serving size posters or click here to print your own 11”x17” fruit and vegetable posters. (5/12)




‘Employer Corner’ Offers Resources to Encourage Healthy Behaviors
In 2011, $1.5 million dollars was paid to employers through the Be Well Rewards program. Are you taking advantage of this opportunity to earn extra cash for your organization? Employers earn a dollar-for-dollar match on the rewards that all CHP-enrolled workers and their enrolled spouses earn (up to $300 per person)!

To encourage your workers to establish and maintain healthy habits, as well as help your organization earn rewards in the process, use the resources available in the “Employer Corner." 
The “Employer Corner” includes posters, flyers, tips, and ideas to help promote the Be Well Rewards program and healthy behaviors in your workplace. You can also share your ideas on how to create a healthy workplace and how to spend the Be Well Rewards dollars you earn.

If you would like hard copies of any of the materials in the “Employer Corner,” contact us at 888-927-7526 or ConcordiaHealthPlan@ConcordiaPlans.org. (5/12) 




LCMS Employers in CHP: It Pays to File for the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit
We know that employers are looking for ways to bring more funds into their ministries. One solution may be to file for a tax credit made possible through the Affordable Care Act of 2010.

Many LCMS churches and schools that offer the Concordia Health Plan (CHP) are taking advantage of the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit. We are hearing success stories from more and more organizations that are eligible to claim the credit which is offered through 2013.

For example, Immanuel Lutheran Church in Seymour, In., received a refund check of $15,500 in the first year alone. St. Paul Lutheran Church and School in Steven’s Point, Wis., received over $42,000 in the past two years.

These churches and schools are telling their stories to encourage other employers to take advantage of this tax credit. Here’s what your fellow LCMS employers are saying:

“I would really encourage other employers to check into this – it is for real. Don’t let the opportunity pass you by. Initially we thought if we could get back several hundred dollars or even a few thousand dollars it would be well worth it. We felt truly blessed when the first year we got back over $19,000.00 and this year we will be getting over $23,000. And there are still two more years that the credit will be available.” – St. Paul Lutheran, Steven's Point, Wis.

“I would encourage other churches and schools to also apply for the tax credit. It is a good feeling to receive the refund check and decide how these funds are going to be used to support your church.” – Immanuel Lutheran, Seymour, In.

Employers will use IRS Form 8941 to determine any credit that may be due. Employers who have fewer than 25 “full-time employee equivalents” and meet certain other criteria (as outlined in the instructions to IRS Form 8941) are eligible for a maximum credit of 25% of their CHP contribution costs. The filing deadline is the 15th day of the 5th month after the end of an employer’s tax year, and employers can file for the tax credit through the 2013 tax year. For more information and a sample calculation, review the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit flyer and FAQs or visit www.irs.gov. (4/12)




Concordia Plan Services Hours April 5-6
Concordia Plan Services will close at 2 p.m. Thursday, April 5, and will be closed all day Friday, April 6, in observance of Maundy Thursday and Good Friday.

We will resume regular office hours, 7 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday, April 9. (4/12)



Express Scripts and Medco Move Forward as One Company
April 2, 2012, Express Scripts finalized its merger with Medco Health Solutions, and they are moving forward together as one company—under the name, Express Scripts. The combined company remains committed to providing members with the high-quality service they’ve come to expect.

For the immediate future, a number of items will remain the same for members:
  • Medication packaging/labels will remain the same.
  • Members will continue to make payments to the same company they always have.
  • Members will not need to change retail pharmacies or alter their home delivery orders in any way.
  • Members will continue to use the same address to submit claims/order medication. This includes returns.
  • Members can continue to call the number currently listed on their identification card for refills or for any pharmacy-related questions.
  • Members will continue to use the same website and mobile app they have always used.
If any changes become necessary, Express Scripts will share that information with plan members so that there is no disruption in service to members

Combining Express Scripts and Medco will allow the combined company to do even more to improve member health while driving down the cost of prescription drugs. For more information about the merger, visit Express-Scripts.com (4/12)



Cigna Facebook Page Draws Attention to Importance of Children’s Dental Health
Cigna Dental, administrator of dental benefits for the Concordia Health Plan, has dedicated a Facebook page to celebrate our kids’ smiles by teaching them how to take care of their teeth.

Parents can find information ranging from what to expect from their children’s first visit to the dentist to unique dental care needs of pre-teens and teens in the Parents Zone. And in the Kids Zone, there are tools to help children keep track of their dental hygiene activity and to remind pre-teens about good dental care. You can find these resources on the Cigna Facebook page.

For more information about your dental benefits as a CHP member, click here. (3/12)



E-Learning Module and FAQ Available to Help Answer Group-Term Life Reporting Questions
Employers recently received Group-Term Life (GTL) Reports for their organization from Concordia Plan Services.

The GTL Report is mailed quarterly to employers. The first report for the year includes all workers who are enrolled in the Concordia Disability & Survivor Plan (CDSP). The GTL Report is provided because the lump-sum death benefits potentially payable by the CDSP have been ruled by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to be equivalent to group-term life insurance. As a result, the cost (imputed value) of these potential CDSP benefits must be included by the employer as part of the gross income of the worker for the current taxable year.

To help guide employers through the process of reporting this information, we have provided an E-Learning module and a Frequently Asked Questions document. (3/12)



Express Scripts and VSP Respond to Victims of Severe Weather
Express Scripts and VSP Vision Care are responding to the needs of Concordia Health Plan (CHP) members residing in areas affected by the recent severe weather and tornadoes in the Midwest and South.

Express Scripts’ emergency procedures for prescription drug fills are readily available to members of the CHP. By implementing emergency procedures for prescription drug fills, Express Scripts is permitting prescription refills for patients from the disaster areas who have lost or damaged medication resulting from the severe weather and tornadoes. This applies even if the refill occurs sooner than allowed by Express Scripts’ normal standards.* Pharmacies will need to enter a special override code (provided by Express Scripts) in order to process the claims for affected members.

These emergency procedures for those affected by the severe weather and tornadoes will be in effect until April 2 for the following states and counties:
Kentucky: Ballard, Bath, Campbell, Carroll, Grant, Grayson, Hardin, Johnson, Kenton, Laurel, Lawrence, Magoffin, McCracken, Martin, Menifee, Montgomery, Morgan, Muhlenberg, Ohio, Owsley, Pendleton, Rowan, Russell, and Trimble
Indiana: Clark, Gibson, Harrison, Jefferson, Posey, Ripley, Scott, Shelby, Vanderburgh, Warrick, and Washington
Illinois: Gallatin, Massac, Perry, Pulaski, Randolph, Saline, Union, and Williamson
Ohio: Adams, Athens, Brown, Clermont, Gallia, Pike, and Scioto

VSP is working directly with network doctors, business partners, and relief agencies, including the American Red Cross, to assess the situation and fulfill the eye care needs of those directly affected.

As part of VSP’s efforts:
• Any VSP member who has lost or broken their eyewear due to the tornadoes can call the VSP Member Services Support Line at 800-877-7195 to have their VSP benefits reinstated regardless of eligibility.
• Individuals without VSP coverage can contact their local American Red Cross chapter and request a VSP eye care voucher.

*These procedures do not apply to CHP members enrolled in HMO Options because prescription drug benefits for these members are administered by CIGNA Healthcare. (3/12)



Payroll Tax Cut Extended through the End of 2012
President Obama signed into law the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 on February 22, 2012. The law extends the rate reduction for the employee portion of Social Security tax through the end of 2012. Workers will continue to enjoy extra money in their paychecks due to the lower rate of tax.

Lay workers will pay 4.2% Social Security tax which is two percentage points less than the 6.2% percent rate in effect prior to 2011. The employer portion remains at 6.2%. The full FICA rates, which include the reduced Social Security tax, are 5.65% for lay workers and 7.65% for employers. Ministers of religion, who are considered self-employed for Social Security purposes, will pay the reduced rate of 13.3% through 2012.

The reduced Social Security withholdings will have no effect on a worker’s future Social Security benefits. The new law repeals the 2% recapture tax enacted in the December legislation that extended the payroll tax cut through February 29, 2012. The IRS will issue additional guidance as needed to implement the newly extended payroll tax cut. Visit their website at www.IRS.gov for information. (3/12)



EAP Phone Seminars Coming Up in March and April
The months of March and April bring to you four Employee Assistance Program (EAP) Telephone Seminars that will help strengthen communication in the workplace, simplify life, and create a positive and healthy work environment. Seminar topics include:

• March 7: Leadership Communication (for Managers)
• March 21: Less is More – Simplifying Your Life
• April 11: Creating a Positive Work Environment
• April 18: Stress Management for Managers

These EAP seminars and training opportunities are open to Concordia Health Plan (CHP) members and their families, as well as managers and others in supervisory roles at employers who offer the CHP. (The EAP is not available to Medicare members.)

For more details about the seminars or to register, click here. (2/12)




Be Well Rewards Website Up and Running!
Technical issues that delayed the activation of a few features on the 2012 Be Well Rewards program website have been resolved. Concordia Plan Services apologizes that all functionality was not up and running on February 1, 2012, when the program officially kicked-off for this year. We know this caused frustration for some of our members, and we’re very happy that we were able to resolve the issues without too much delay.

Concordia Health Plan (CHP) members and their spouses can either access their existing Be Well Rewards account or create a new account to start logging their healthy activities by visiting www.bewellservewell.com. Remember – activities can be entered retroactive to January 1, 2012.

Employers – Don’t forget that you will reap the rewards of your workers’ healthy behaviors by promoting a healthy workplace. Employers will earn a one-to-one match for every dollar their workers (and their enrolled spouses) earn by participating in healthy activities. (Workers and spouses must be enrolled in the CHP in order to participate in the Be Well Rewards program.) (2/12)




Recent HHS Contraceptive Mandate Compels LCMS and Concordia Plans’ Responses
On January 20, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a final ruling requiring health plans to cover the cost of contraceptives. This decision will impact many denominational plans, regardless of the faiths’ theological beliefs. “Concordia Plan Services has a strong history of care and concern for the workers of our church,” said James Sanft, President and CEO of Concordia Plan Services. “The coverage, resources, and services we provide have always been mindful of why we exist and who we serve.

“We strongly desire to continue supporting our LCMS ministries by administering the Plans in a manner that honors our Synod's commitment to the Lutheran faith and beliefs. While our decision to preserve the grandfathered status of the Concordia Health Plan currently protects the Plan from this coverage requirement, we are very concerned about additional government intrusion impacting how we deliver care to our members in the future.”

Concordia Plan Services will continue monitoring legislative actions and evaluating the impact of those actions as we work to prepare for the healthcare environment of 2014. While there are still many unknowns, we remain steadfast in our commitment to serving as a resource for LCMS employers and their workers, navigating the ripples of health care reform, and guiding our ministries through any necessary changes. (2/12)
  • Click here to read the Reporter article on President Harrison’s opposition to the HHS ruling.
  • Click here to access President Harrison’s statement on recent HHS Decision and Religious Freedom.
  • Click here to learn more about the Concordia Health Plan (CHP), what it means to be a “grandfathered plan,” and CHP coverage for women’s preventive health care and contraceptives.



Earn Be Well Rewards Points By Being Proactive!
The 2012 Be Well Rewards program starts February 1, and now is a great time to schedule your annual, preventive exams and get a head start on earning points!

You can earn up to 100 Be Well Rewards points when you get up to two preventive, age-appropriate medical screenings January 1 – December 31, 2012:
  • Preventive medical exam (physical exam) – All
  • Colon cancer screening – All
  • Cervical cancer screening (Pap smear) – Female
  • Prostate cancer screening (Prostate Specific Antigen – PSA) – Male 
  • Ovarian cancer screening (Trans-vaginal or CA125, for those at high risk) – Female 
  • Osteoporosis screening – All 
  • Breast cancer screening (Conventional film screen mammography) – Female
  • Vision Screening – All 
  • Dental Cleaning Visit – All
As a Concordia Health Plan (CHP) member, you and your enrolled dependents (only the member and the member’s spouse is eligible to participate in the Be Well Rewards program) have preventive care coverage.

CHP members in PPO Options A-E, Option HDHP, and Option CSS, as well as members in HMO options receive preventive care services at 100% with no deductible or coinsurance when these services are provided by a network provider. There are also no copays for office visits under the PPO options when the reason for the visit is preventive care. Office visits may apply for HMO options.

You will find 2012 preventive care guidelines for Options A-E, Option HDHP, and Option CSS by clicking here and for HMO options by clicking here. Concordia Plan Services encourages you to print the Provider Preventive Care Notice and take it with you to your preventive care visits.

So schedule your annual preventive screenings today and you’ll be on your way to earning your 2012 Be Well Rewards points! (1/12)



New E-Learning Module Tackles Topic of Disability
If you’re an employer and have questions or need clearer guidelines about the Concordia Disability and Survivor Plan (CDSP), Concordia Plan Services has designed an E-Learning module that can help.

The “Concordia Disability and Survivor Plan for Employers” E-Learning module highlights employer do’s and don’ts when a worker is disabled, making accessibility accommodations for disabled workers, and facilitating a partial return to work. The module also discusses:
  • Disability Management Plan goals and best practices
  • How disability affects other benefits
  • Completion of various forms
  • The role of employer, Concordia Plan Services, and Liberty Mutual (our Disability Plan Manager)
  • Who to contact for assistance
Click here to access the E-Learning module. (1/12)
 


Concordia Retirement Savings Plan Calculators Updated for 2012
The Concordia Retirement Savings Plan (CRSP) calculators have been updated for 2012. The CRSP Contribution Calculator and CRSP Match Calculator can help employers and workers calculate the Basic Match (and the Employer Optional Match if applicable) for the CRSP. (1/12)



2012 Salary Deferral Agreement Now Available
The 2012 Salary Deferral Agreement for the Concordia Retirement Savings Plan (CRSP) is now available. This agreement is for workers who make pre-tax contributions to the CRSP. A worker’s current Salary Deferral Agreement will stay in effect until a new agreement is completed.

Once a worker elects to make catch-up contributions in 2012, he/she will need to complete a new Salary Deferral Agreement. Employers cannot withhold any catch-up contributions for 2012 until the new Agreement has been completed, even if a worker had made catch-up contributions in 2011.

Click here for a 2012 Salary Deferral Agreement. (1/12)



2012 Be Well Rewards Program Takes Off February 1!
The 2012 Be Well Rewards program starts next month, so continue focusing on those healthy habits and creating a culture of health that you started or strengthened in 2011!

The second year of the Be Well Rewards program will include many of the same healthy activities and several new features. Concordia Health Plan (CHP) workers and their enrolled spouses will be able to earn up to $300 each in 2012 and employers will again receive a dollar-for-dollar match on what their workers (and enrolled spouses) earn in rewards!

Watch your mail for more 2012 Be Well Rewards details. The program will run from February 1, 2012 – December 31, 2012. (1/12)



SelectAccount Reducing Amount of Paper Sent to Members
In response to member requests to reduce the amount of paper they receive related to their SelectAccount® personal spending accounts, SelectAccount is changing its Explanation of Payment (EOP) process beginning January 1, 2012.

As of this date, SelectAccount health savings account (HSA) members who are signed up for direct deposit will no longer receive a paper EOP in the mail confirming the transaction. Since members’ reimbursements are deposited directly into their bank accounts, SelectAccount will not mail them a paper statement. Members who need additional information about a transaction, can access it online at www.SelectAccount.com at any time. As always, the SelectAccount customer service team can also provide additional information about transactions.

If you have questions about this change, contact the SelectAccount Concordia Employers Spending Account Help Line at 866-309-8916. (1/12)