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    Frequently Asked Questions Insurance

    General

    • A Multi-State Plan option is a high-quality plan offered on the Marketplace, under contract with OPM, the agency that administers health insurance for Federal employees.  OPM negotiates plan benefits, monitors plan performance, and oversees plan compliance with the Affordable Care Act, so you can be assured of consistent, quality coverage.   
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    • In 2018, Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield will offer three Multi-State Plan options on the Marketplace.
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    • Some Multi-State Plan options offer in-network care outside of your service area, but not all.  If you live in one State and work, go to college, or spend a lot of time in another State, carefully check the provider directories of the plans you’re considering buying.  See if their networks have doctors, hospitals, and other healthcare providers in the places you’ll be.  Also, check out the plan’s payment policies for out-of-network care.

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    • External review is the process by which OPM, or an Independent Review Organization if the case requires medical judgment, reviews a health insurance plan’s decision to deny a benefit or payment for a service for an enrollee in an MSP option. Except in certain circumstances, you must first file an internal appeal with the health plan to reconsider its decision. If the plan continues to deny the benefit or payment, you have the right to request an external review.  Please visit the Multi-State Plan Program External Review website for more information.

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    • The Multi-State Plan Program External Review Process is unique because OPM administers the process directly. OPM will review whether your insurance company’s denial was justified by examining the terms of coverage and the specific circumstances surrounding the denial. If medical expertise is needed for review of a denial, an Independent Review Organization (IRO) will provide a decision. In most cases, OPM or an IRO will reach a decision within 30 days. If you are denied emergency services or if your doctor has determined that the denial of care would seriously jeopardize your life or jeopardize your ability to regain maximum function, you may be able to request expedited External Review without first exhausting your insurance company's appeal process. In that case, OPM or the IRO generally will make a decision within 72 hours. 

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    • Please visit the Multi-State Plan Program External Review website for detailed instructions on how to file a request for external review, including a list of documents you will need. You may file the request yourself or submit an Authorized Representative Form to appoint a representative to handle the request on your behalf.  You may call OPM toll free at (855) 318-0714 if you need help with your request for External Review.

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    • Multi-State Plan options are offered, along with other approved plans, on the Health Insurance Marketplace. The Marketplace is a one-stop shop where you can compare prices on health plans, buy coverage, and obtain Federal subsidies if you qualify for them. Individuals can enroll directly through the online Marketplace portal (HealthCare.gov or CuidadodeSalud.gov ), or call 1-800-318-2596 to enroll.


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    • The Multi-State Plan (MSP) Program is a program created by the Affordable Care Act and implemented by OPM. OPM evaluates insurance plans submitted by private insurers and certifies plans as Multi-State Plan options for sale in the Health Insurance Marketplace. OPM will monitor the plans’ performance in the market and oversee their compliance with the law, as well as the requirements of the plans’ contracts with OPM. MSP coverage became available in the Marketplace in January 2014.
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    • OPM requires each MSP issuer to offer at least one silver MSP option and one gold MSP option that excludes coverage of elective abortion services (i.e., abortion services for which Federal funding is prohibited) in every service area of every State in which it offers MSP coverage.  Currently, no MSP options cover elective abortion services.
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    • Insurers selected to offer coverage through the Multi-State Plan Program must be licensed and are subject to all requirements of State law, except those that would prevent the application of provisions of the Affordable Care Act. OPM may set additional requirements for participating insurers in consultation with HHS.
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