Reform Alert - News from the Blues' Office of National Health Reform

How “Plan Year” impacts BCBSM and BCN group and individual customers

July 19, 2010

Many reforms in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) will be implemented for plan years beginning on or after Sept. 23, 2010. "Plan year" is not synonymous with "renewal date" or "enrollment date," although there are circumstances where those dates could be the same.

There are many criteria to determine "plan year," but we believe that for most BCBSM and BCN group and individual customers, "plan year" will be Jan. 1 through Dec. 31, because that is when plan deductibles reset. BCBSM and BCN are moving forward with implementation of near-term reforms, such as extending dependent coverage to age 26, removing lifetime limits and ending waiting periods for pre-existing conditions for children under age 19, based on this definition of "plan year" in most cases.

Groups that have questions about how "plan year" specifically impacts them should contact their BCBSM or BCN sales representation or agent.

The information on this website is based on BCBSM's review of the national health care reform legislation and is not intended to impart legal advice. Interpretations of the reform legislation vary, and efforts will be made to present and update accurate information. This overview is intended as an educational tool only and does not replace a more rigorous review of the law's applicability to individual circumstances and attendant legal counsel and should not be relied upon as legal or compliance advice. Analysis is ongoing and additional guidance is also anticipated from the Department of Health and Human Services. Additionally, some reform regulations may differ for particular members enrolled in certain programs such as the Federal Employee Program, and those members are encouraged to consult with their benefit administrators for specific details.