There have been many updates to COBANC's Dental and Vision Benefits that we would like to take the opportunity to explain to you. Please read this entire email as it contains important information.
This year COBANC negotiated a three-year agreement with Healthplex that guarantees no increase in the rate we pay for their claims administrating services. This is part of our long-term strategy to provide the maximum benefits possible for both Active & Retired Members - not only now, but with a focus on protecting our benefits well into the future.
One of the effects that the COVID-19 Pandemic has had on the dental industry is the considerable rise in the cost of personal protective equipment (PPE). As a result, many dental practices have started levying surcharge fees on customers. As part of our Dental Plan, which is provided by Healthplex, COBANC members are not required to pay a PPE surcharge for dental visits, as long as you stay In-Network.
As a reminder from one of our previous emails, please be aware that whenever an In-Network dental provider you are using refers you to another dental provider, even if they work in the same office, you should verify that the one you are being referred to is also In-Network. Just because they work under the same roof, does not mean they are both in our network. Ultimately it is your responsibility to do your due diligence. There have been instances when our members have received a surprise Out-Of-Network bill. Unfortunately, at that point, it is too late. We would like you to be an educated consumer and see this stop NOW.
We have made several upgrades to our Vision coverage. As you know, we provide benefits through four separate Vision networks. This provides the greatest variety of options to our members and at the same time encourages the individual networks to remain competitive in the market.
We negotiated an agreement with the GVS network to provide nationwide coverage starting in August. This will expand In-Network access to our Active members who have dependents away at college as well as our Retirees who have moved out of state.
We have engaged in a pilot program through the DavisVision network to add Glasses.com and 1-800 Contacts as online shopping options. The links can be found on our Member Benefits page. Some retail and small businesses have limited hours of operations or in some cases have temporarily closed. While not a perfect substitute for an in-person visit, you may find this online option a safer and more convenient alternative.
The reimbursement for Laser Correction (Active members only) is now $300 and has been expanded to include dependents. The requirement to temporarily waive other Vision Benefits in exchange for this benefit has been eliminated.
If you haven't been to our Member Benefits page lately, please take a moment to check it out. At first glance, it has the same look as the old page but it has been revamped from the ground up to increase functionality and ease-of-use. At the top, you will find our Benefits Plan. All the links to locate In-Network providers and view the description of each Vision Network's benefits are now "one-click" (no more having to look up each provider's benefit code and enter them manually). There are new claim forms along with instructions on how to submit them by mail, email, or fax. You will also find our brand new Enrollment/Update form. You will notice it's a full-page form, unlike the old index cards that you had to try to cram all your information on to. All of these forms are in a pdf-fillable format which we encourage you to fill out online, then print and sign. These were created as part of an ongoing effort to make our forms more readily accessible to you, easier to complete, and more efficient to process.
We hope that this information will be both useful and beneficial to you in the years to come.
Stay Safe, Stay Well, Stay Healthy.