What's New For 2020

For 2020, there will be several important benefits changes.

Health Plan Changes for all Employees

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (BCBSMA) Will Replace Harvard Pilgrim Health Care (HPHC)

Effective January 1, 2020, BCBSMA will replace HPHC. BCBSMA has the largest provider network in New England, and includes nearly 99% of the providers in the HPHC network that are currently used by Harvard members.

Based on a provider analysis of the HPHC and BCBSMA networks, we anticipate minimal provider disruption as a result of this change.

You can check whether your doctor is in the BCBSMA network by calling the Harvard-dedicated BCBSMA member services call line at 888-389-7732 or by going to their website. Click on “Select your network to continue [not logged in]” and choose the following networks from the dropdown menu:

  • For the HMO, POS, and POS+ select “HMO Blue New England”
  • For the PPO, PPO+, and HDHP select “PPO or EPO”

You may also check directly with your provider(s), referring to the plan names above.

If you are enrolled in an HPHC plan for 2019 and did not make a new election during Open Enrollment, you will be automatically enrolled in a corresponding BCBSMA plan for 2020, as shown below. Your new plan will be shown on the Confirmation Statement mailed to you in mid-November.

IF YOU ARE IN THIS PLAN

EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 2020 YOU WILL BE COVERED UNDER THIS BCBSMA PLAN

HPHC HMO

BCBSMA HMO

HPHC POS

BCBSMA POS
(If you reside outside of New England, BCBS PPO*)

HPHC POS+

BCBSMA POS+**
(If you reside outside of New England, BCBS PPO+*)

HPHC or HUGHP HDHP

BCBSMA HDHP**

* Only available to faculty and staff who reside outside of New England.
** Only available to faculty and nonunion staff.

You will receive your new BCBSMA card by mail in mid-December. Although, there are no changes to prescription coverage, anyone moving to BCBSMA coverage will also receive a new Express Scripts card in December that should be used when filling prescriptions beginning January 1, 2020.

Do you have covered dependents who live outside New England? If you will be enrolled in BCBSMA as of January 1, 2020, learn more about how dependents living outside New England can access non-emergency care and what kinds of services are covered. 

Why is Harvard making this change?

Harvard continuously evaluates the health care coverage it provides to faculty and staff to ensure it remains comprehensive, competitive, and financially sustainable. This decision was made after extensive review by the University Benefits Committee (UBC) and Harvard Benefits, in consultation with the Office of the Provost.

BCBSMA is currently the claims administrator for Harvard University Group Health Plan (HUGHP). Moving to a single administrator across medical plan options will allow more consistency over time in product offerings, and reduce complexity for participants and the University, while providing access to most of the same providers.

You can learn more in these FAQs.

Health Plan Change for Faculty and Nonunion Staff

High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) coverage will be consolidated under BCBSMA

For 2020, coverage under the HDHP will be consolidated under BCBSMA. If you are enrolled in the HUGHP HDHP or the HPHC HDHP for 2019 and did not make an election during Open Enrollment, you will be automatically enrolled in the BCBSMA HDHP for 2020, as shown in the chart above. The BCBSMA HDHP provider network includes Harvard University Health Services (HUHS) providers along with access to the BCBSMA PPO network. See above for information on How to Check Your Current Providers.

You will receive your new BCBSMA card by mail in mid-December. Although, there are no changes to prescription coverage, anyone moving to BCBSMA coverage will also receive a new Express Scripts card in December that should be used when filling prescriptions beginning January 1, 2020.

Change for Faculty, Nonunion Staff, and ATC, HUSPMGU, and SEIU Members

New Coverage Levels

If you are faculty, administrative and professional staff, nonunion support staff, or a member of the ATC, HUPA, or SEIU Custodian unions, you will have access to two additional coverage levels for your medical, dental, and vision benefits beginning in 2020. This change was in response to requests from employees and is common among peer employers.

With this change, no action is required. You will automatically be placed in one of the coverage levels below, based on the dependents you currently cover, unless you elected to change your coverage level by adding or removing eligible dependents. If you added a dependent during Open Enrollment, you must provide documentation showing that the dependent is eligible by November 27, 2019.

COVERAGE LEVELS

Employee Only

NEW! Employee + spouse/domestic partner (DP)

NEW! Employee + child(ren)

Family (employee, spouse/DP + child(ren))

Note: there are no changes to the Reimbusement Program or Copayment Reimbursement Program thresholds; all three of the family groups must meet the family thresholds for reimbursement.

The new coverage levels do not apply to members of HUCTW, HUSPMGU, Local 26, or SEIU Arboretum for 2020.