Blue Access for Employers

Frequently Asked Questions about
BlueEdgeSM HCA Plans

What is BlueEdge?

BlueEdge is a consumer-driven health plan that works with a spending account option – a Health Care Account (HCA) – that you fund for your employees. BlueEdge gives members control over how they spend their health care dollars and includes four major components:

  1. HCA you provide for your employees are used to pay for covered health care expenses. Money spent from this account, for covered services, counts toward the deductible.
    PPO benefits begin after members meet the deductible. They have the freedom to see any doctor without a referral.
  2. Preventive care and wellness visits are covered – nothing is deducted from the spending account and employees don't need to meet the deductible to enjoy these benefits.
  3. Online decision resources help increase members' awareness and knowledge of health issues and help them keep track of HCA and health care expenses.

Top of Page

How is BlueEdge different from a traditional health plan?

Most traditional plans pay a percentage of the charges for covered medical expenses only after the member satisfies a plan deductible or copayment. With BlueEdge, your employees' preventive care and wellness services are covered without first meeting the deductible. You may also set aside a specific amount of money for your employees each benefit year in an HCA. The HCA funds pay for covered health care expenses that are applied to your deductible. Your employees pay the remaining deductible amount and then PPO benefits begin. Unused HCA funds roll over year to year, as long as members remain in the plan.

Top of Page

What is a Health Care Account (HCA)?

An HCA is a spending account with an amount of money set aside for your employees to use for covered health care expenses. You fund the HCA for your employees. Charges for covered medical care services are first paid from this account. Money spent from the HCA is also applied toward the annual deductible. Unspent funds roll over from year to year. If a member leaves the plan, the funds return to the employer.

Top of Page

What is the BlueEdge HCA Plan deductible?

Like most other PPO plans, BlueEdge includes an annual deductible. A deductible is a fixed amount a member is required to pay before health care benefits begin. The HCA pays a portion of the deductible and the employee is responsible for paying the other portion.

Top of Page

How does the BlueEdge HCA family deductible work?

The family HCA can be used to pay for any covered services received by any family member covered under the plan. The deductible works like most other Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico PPOs – no family member has to satisfy more than the individual deductible before receiving PPO benefits, and the PPO benefits will be paid for the whole family once the family deductible is met.

Top of Page

Do my employees have to pay for their preventive medical services from their HCAs?

No. Most preventive medical services (e.g., routine physical exams, age-based testing, and vaccinations) are covered under the BlueEdge HCA Plan when the member receives care from in network doctors. Check your group plan documents for specific coverage details.

Top of Page

What covered services will my employees have to pay out-of-pocket?

There are three circumstances when a member will have out-of-pocket expenses:

  1. The member has used all of his or her HCA funds, but has not yet met the deductible. The member is responsible for paying for health care services until the deductible has been satisfied.
  2. The member has met the deductible, so PPO benefits are available. If your plan includes coinsurance, the member will be responsible for paying a percentage of the charges. There is an out-of-pocket maximum, so the member won't pay more than this amount during the benefit year as long as services are received in network. Check your plan documents for specific coverage details.
  3. Non-covered services, additional coinsurance (until the member meets the higher out-of-pocket limit), and charges in excess of our allowed amount when services are received out of network.

Top of Page

How do my employees use the funds in their HCAs?

When a member uses an in-network provider, the provider will submit the claim. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico's integrated claim process automatically deducts funds from the HCA and/or pays the claim from the PPO. There is no paperwork for the member to file.

If the member receives care from an out-of-network doctor or hospital, the provider will most likely also file the claim with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico. However, if the member needs to file a claim, he or she can download a claim form and send it to the address on the back of the member ID card.

Top of Page

If an employee has a health care Flexible Spending Account (FSA) and a Health Care Account, which account can the employee use to pay for eligible health expenses?

Eligible expenses are deducted from the HCA first. When that account is depleted, health care expenses can then be reimbursed from the FSA. That is, the funds in the FSA can be used to satisfy the remaining portion of the deductible, or coinsurance payments after the deductible is met, or non-covered eligible charges.

Top of Page

What if an employee spends all of the money in his or her HCA?

If an employee uses all of your HCA contribution, the employee is responsible for any remaining balance of his or her deductible before PPO benefits begin.

Top of Page

How does the HCA roll-over feature work?

If there is a remaining balance in an employee's HCA at the end of the benefit year, it automatically rolls over to the next year and is added to the annual contribution that you make for the employee (up to the maximum HCA balance specified in your plan). The total balance remains available as long as the employee participates in the plan. The greater the balance in the HCA, the less the employee has to pay out-of-pocket.

Top of Page

What happens to the HCA balance if an employee leaves the BlueEdge HCA plan?

If an employee chooses another plan or leaves the company without continuing coverage (e.g., under COBRA), the balance in the Health Care Account returns to the employer.

Top of Page

How does the prescription drug plan work?

BlueEdge HCA offers a 5-tier prescription drug plan with a separate prescription drug out of pocket limit.

Tier 1 Copayment Preferred Generic Drug
Tier 2 Copayment Generic Drug
Tier 3 Copayment Brand-Name Drug on the Drug List when no generic available
Tier 4 Copayment Brand Name Drug not on the Drug List
Tier 5 Copayment All Specialty Drugs

Your clients should review their summary of benefits and coverage and their Benefit Booklet for further details

Top of Page

What if my employees have questions about their benefits?

BCBSNM's customer service representatives are available to answer your employees' questions 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. MT, Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. MT weekends and holidays (closed Thanksgiving and Christmas Day). If a member calls after hours, he or she can leave a message and we will return the call by the next business day. Members should call the toll-free number printed on the back of the member ID card and should have the ID card available when calling. They may also contact customer service with a secure message through Blue Access for MembersSM.

Top of Page

Learn More About BlueEdge HCA

Benefit Information
How BlueEdge HCA Works
Spending Account and the Deductible
Common FAQs


Back to main Employers page