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Excellus BCBS Broker News Vol. 19 No. 2

February 19, 2024
Excellus BlueCross BlueShield

Learn How ACQAs Help Increase Quality Care For Members

An Accountable Cost & Quality Agreement (ACQA) is our localized approach to value-based payment agreements. ACQAs promote a better, more holistic patient experience for members while working to reduce unnecessary medical costs for all.

Watch The 3-Minute Video To Learn More About ACQAs                                                    

Get To Know The Unique Approach To Value-based Care                        

Get The ACQA Toolkit                    


Reminder Regarding WellNow Urgent Care Provider Status

Recently, some Excellus BlueCross BlueShield members may have received communication from WellNow Urgent Care that could cause confusion regarding coverage and benefits. To clarify and remind members, WellNow made the decision to leave the Excellus BCBS provider network on Jan. 1, 2024.

WellNow is now considered out-of-network for all locations in Excellus BCBS 31-county service areas. Members who have out-of-network benefits and obtain care from WellNow may need to pay higher costs subject to their health benefit plan. Members with questions should contact Customer Service at the number on the back of their Excellus BCBS Member Identification Card.

The focus remains on assisting members with questions they may have around plan coverage and options for care. Excellus would encourage Groups to share the following information with their employees:

When your doctor isn’t available, an urgent care center may be an option for non-life-threatening injury or illness such as cuts, fever, flu, sore throat, cough, minor infections, rashes, and back pain.

Many urgent care centers also provide a telehealth option. Visit ExcellusBCBS.com/CareOptions for a list of urgent care centers by county. You can also call the phone number on the back of your Member card if you have additional questions

NEW! ThriveWellSM  Toolkit Now Available        

A toolkit for the new digital, wellbeing program ThriveWell, administered by Virgin Pulse, can now be found on ExcellusforBusiness.com.

With a ready-to-send email, member guide, quick start flyer, overview flyer, and reward flyers employers can encourage their team to get started today.

Get The ThriveWell Toolkit                              

Virgin Pulse is a separate company and offers a digital wellbeing service on behalf  of Excellus BlueCross BlueShield.


NEW! Headspace Toolkit Now Available

A toolkit for the new mindfulness and meditation partner*, Headspace, administered by Virgin Pulse, can now be found on ExcellusforBusiness.com.

This toolkit includes a ready-to-send email, Headspace overview flyer, and material to help guide members through creating an account. Please share with clients to help build awareness of this new benefit.

Get The Headspace Toolkit  

*Embedded for all Fully Insured Large Group plans except for Minimum Premium arrangements. Buy-up option available for Minimum Premium and Self-Funded group plans.

Headspace is a preferred partner of Virgin Pulse, offering a meditation app to members. Virgin Pulse is independent of Excellus BCBS.

Rx News - Navigating The GLP-1 Trend

Diabetes is one of the top trend drivers of pharmacy costs due to the growing diabetic population and newer, more expensive therapies recommended earlier in the treatment plan. Since 2006, medications like Ozempic® and Trulicity® have been used to treat Type 2 Diabetes. Today, they are gaining popularity as celebrities and social media influencers tout their weight loss benefits.

As a health plan committed to providing access to high-quality and affordable health care, the rising trend of GLP-1 therapies demands careful consideration.

Read The Full Article

Have You Listened To The Community Check-In Podcast?

Each week, with the Community Check-In podcasts, Excellus has has conversations with local experts about all things health, sharing the latest info and tips to support you in managing your health and wellness.

The latest episode: The Loneliness Epidemic: Unveiling The Health Implications Of Social Isolation.

In part one of this two-part series on loneliness, Dr. Geoffrey Hopkins, Senior Medical Director of Behavioral Health at Excellus BCBS explores the concept of loneliness and its impact on an individuals' overall wellness. He discusses the factors that disrupt social connections and addresses how to prevent its negative impacts on health and wellbeing.

Listen To The Podcast                                              

Listen & Share Community Check-In                  


The Importance Of Sleep        

Sleeping is a basic human need, like eating, drinking, and breathing. Did you know adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep per night, and children and teens need even more? Surveys show the average adult sleeps fewer than seven hours a night. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one-third of adults report not getting enough sleep every day. More than one-third of adults report daytime sleepiness so severe that it interferes with work, driving, and social functioning at least a few days each month.

Sleep is as important for good health and wellbeing as diet and exercise. Not getting enough sleep increases your risk of developing chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and depression. Lack of sleep also affects your cognition and reaction time, leading to more injuries and accidents.

People who have trouble sleeping should talk with their doctor for options to improve their sleep.
 The Sleep Challenge Toolkit  (ZIP) below includes resources such as flyers and a sleep  challenge that can be shared with your groups.


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