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August 3, 2020

News about Employer Business

Special Enrollment Period for large group customers

In response to COVID‑19, the Department of Labor and the IRS have announced that large group (51+) customers have the opportunity to offer a mid‑year special enrollment period (SEP) to employees.

This enrollment period is available to fully insured and self‑funded customers with 51 or more employees, and is available to:

  • Employees who are currently enrolled in an Independence plan
  • Employees who did not previously enroll in an Independence plan, including those actively at work or on a temporary layoff/furlough
  • Dependents of a covered employee who were not previously enrolled in the plan

Please note:

  • Employees who can no longer afford dependent coverage due to temporary layoff/furlough or reduced hours may remove dependents from the plan
  • Employees who are currently enrolled with Independence may move into a lower cost plan, but may not upgrade during this SEP
  • Employers are responsible for ensuring that all changes are subject to applicable requirements, including but not limited to permitted election changes
  • If a customer or member elects to downgrade coverage, Independence will carry over out‑of‑pocket costs incurred by member(s) under the old plan to a downgraded benefit plan as long as they stay within the same plan type, for example moving from HMO to HMO, or PPO to PPO

The Special Enrollment Period is limited to a two‑week period and must end prior to September 30, 2020. Customers can submit associated enrollment changes through their normal enrollment channel (employer portal, EDI, etc.).            

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Independence Blue Cross offers products through its subsidiaries Independence Hospital Indemnity Plan, Keystone Health Plan East and QCC Insurance Company, and with Highmark Blue Shield — independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.