Company Information

Independence Blue Cross (Independence) is the BlueCross BlueShield licensee in Southeast Pennsylvania. It operates in the five counties of Philadelphia (Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery). It provides health insurance for people of all ages through their individual, group, and Medicare products, and has been an institution in the Philadelphia area for over 75 years.

Independence also owns the AmeriHealth New Jersey and AmeriHealth Caritas carriers. For more information on their products and policies, please go to their carrier pages.

Any questions regarding Independence can be directed to Jimmy Weber at jimmy.weber@ritterim.com or 800-769-1847 ext. 217. Independence also has a broker services team that can be contacted at 888-234-3313 or ibxmedicarebroker@ibx.com.

2016 Product Availability:

  • Keystone Basic – This plan has been discontinued. All current members of the Basic plan will be moved to the Select plan.
  • Keystone 65 Focus – This is a new plan offered throughout the five counties. It is a very competitively priced plan with excellent benefits. It has a defined network of doctors and hospitals so make sure it works for your client. It is available in Philadelphia and Bucks with drug coverage, and in Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery with or without drug coverage.
  • Keystone 65 Select – The flagship Independence product, a competitively priced plan with great benefits and a robust network. Available in the five counties with or without drug coverage.
  • Keystone 65 Preferred – The high end Independence HMO. Has a higher premium, but superior benefits and access to doctors and hospitals outside of the five counties. Available in the five counties with or without drug coverage.
  • Personal Choice 65 – A PPO plan offered by Independence, competitively priced with nice benefits. Includes a traveler benefit for access to doctors throughout the country at in network prices. Available in Philadelphia and Bucks with or without drug coverage, and available in Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery with drug coverage.

2015 Product Availability:

  • Keystone 65 Basic – a $0 premium plan located in Philadelphia and Bucks, with a $450 deductible. Includes drug coverage.
  • Keystone 65 Select – The flagship Independence product, a competitively priced plan with great benefits and a robust network. Available in the five counties with or without drug coverage.
  • Keystone 65 Preferred – The high end Independence HMO. Has a higher premium, but superior benefits and access to doctors and hospitals outside of the five counties. Available in the five counties with or without drug coverage.
  • Personal Choice 65 – A PPO plan offered by Independence, competitively priced with nice benefits. Includes a traveler benefit for access to doctors throughout the country at in network prices. Available in Philadelphia and Bucks with or without drug coverage, and available in Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery with drug coverage.

Agent Support

  • 888-234-3313
  • New Broker Care Specialist Department will be able to assist agents with the following:
    • Provide benefit information on Medicare
    • Provide benefit information on Independence’s/AmeriHealth’s individual Medicare Advantage w/ Rx plans
    • Assist the agent with completing the enrollment application
    • Verify the status of providers in a network
    • Provide enrollment status of submitted applications
    • Assist the agent with the certification/appointment process
    • Forward claim inquiries presented by agents to member services and assure resolution and follow up by member services to the agent’s client.
    • Troubleshoot enrollment issues
    • Provide compliance information to agents
    • Provide information to agents regarding enrollment periods, Medicare rules and regulations
    • Request supplies.

Certification

2016 Certification

Certification Instructions for the Following Products:

  • Medicare Advantage HMO and PPO plans

Certification Start Date:

Live

NOTE: Prior to being certified, an agent must complete a contract (can be found on our contracting site). Once the contract has been returned to Ritter, the agent’s certification link will be turned on at Independence.

Is AHIP required?

Yes

What is cost of AHIP?

It costs $175 and must be completed through the carrier’s website.

Can AHIP be used for compliance credit?

Yes

Does Carrier reimburse for AHIP?

No

Certification Product Modules:

Information is currently unavailable.

Certification Compliance Modules:

Information is currently unavailable.

Is face to face training required?

No

Will certifying for 2016 allow me to sell 2015 products?

Yes

Does first time certification differ from re-certification?

First time will include information on the 2015 plan year, recertification will not include this information.

How do I retrieve my User Name and Password?

Your User Name is generally your Social Security Number. You can click on the “Forgot Your Password?” link to retrieve your password.

Who do I contact at Carrier to confirm certification?

Agents can contact the Broker Medicare Resource Center at 888-234-3313.

Certification Web Link:

Agents certified last year

https://www.medicaresalessentinel.com/Agents/AgentRegistration.aspx?programguid=b3257b3a-1dbf-4746-8931-6e7cd5fb0ff1

New Agents

https://www.medicaresalessentinel.com/Agents/AgentRegistration.aspx?programguid=e877ddb0-693b-4ccd-8a30-bb01ae14637b

MediGap only Agents

https://www.medicaresalessentinel.com/Agents/AgentRegistration.aspx?programguid=6f438c8e-3efd-4908-92a0-51f49dd888dd

Submitting Business

Parts of a Compliant Application Submission:

  • New Business Fax Cover Sheet
  • Scope of Appointment – If SOA is not necessary, please indicate that on the New Business Cover Sheet. If you do not provide an SOA and do indicate that an SOA was not necessary on the cover sheet, we will assume the Scope of Appointment was necessary and the application is out of compliance.
  • Application
    • Completed “Office Use Only” section
    • Name of agent/broker
    • NPN of agent/broker
    • Agent/broker signature
    • Date application received
      • If the application was taken in a face to face meeting, this date will be the same date as the enrollee’s signature. If the application was mailed, this date will be the date you received the application.
    • FMO Number
      • Will always be 1001

How to Submit Business with Independence Blue Cross:

Paper Applications

  • Fax: 888-638-6943
  • Scan and upload applications to myBiz

Online Enrollments

  • Independence uses the DRx enrollment system to enroll beneficiaries online. The agent needs to be set up to use this program by Independence, and will need to complete additional training. Please contact Ritter for additional information.
  • Please use this online fax cover sheet

Tracking Submitting Business:

  • Agents can track their submitted business via myBiz.
  • Applications should appear on the submitted tab within 24 hours of application submission.
  • Application should appear as enrolled on the enrollment tab within 10 days of application submission.
  • If applications are not meeting those timelines, please contact us so we can investigate and ensure applications are being successfully submitted and enrolled.

Commissions

General Information:

• All commissions for Independence Blue Cross (IBC) are paid to agents by Ritter Insurance Marketing. This is true regardless of whether you work with an IBC General Agency, a Ritter General Agency, or directly with Ritter.

• Commissions are subject to your contract with Ritter, so if you have specific questions about commission payments, you should consult your contract.

Here are some highlights on commission payments (not a complete list of terms):

• You must be “in good standing” with Independence in order to receive commissions and renewals.

• Ritter pays commission via Direct Deposit every Friday (with exceptions for holidays) for IBC. Commissions are generally credited to your bank account 24–48 hours later.

• You can view commission statements online at ritterim.com on your myRitter page and download them into a variety of formats.

• In order to process commission payment, we require a W-9 and an ACH form.

Timing of Payments:

• Independence will generally pay Ritter the replacement commission within 14 days of confirmation by CMS that a valid enrollment has occurred. CMS confirmation generally occurs around 10 days following submission by Independence.

• Ritter will pay the broker the replacement commission within 14 days of payment by Independence.

• In general, you should receive renewal-level commissions within 28 days of submission (for valid enrollments). Please follow up if commissions are not paid in that time frame.

• Initial commissions (true ups) are paid to Ritter approximately 45 days after the beneficiary enrollment date. Please follow up if commissions are not paid in that time frame.

• Renewals begin paying January of the year following the enrollment date.

Pro-Rata Commission Policy:

• Independence is paying all replacement commissions prorated based on the month of enrollment.

• If a beneficiary is due a true up, Independence will pay both the full true up and the part of the replacement commission that was prorated away.

  • Example: A 7/1 effective date would receive a replacement commission of half the standard replacement commission. If the beneficiary is determined eligible for a true up, the agent would receive the full true up, plus the half standard replacement commission that was prorated away. If the beneficiary is not determined eligible for a true up, the agent will not receive any additional commission.

Supplies

Ordering Supplies for Independence Blue Cross

• All agents in PA and NJ are not automatically sent supplies upon certification.

• All supplies are ordered through the Broker eStore (www.brokerestore.com).

• Agents will have an account automatically created upon completion of certification.

  • User Name: Email address used to complete certification.
  • Password: Generated at first log in via “Forgot Password” function.

• Select Independence from the choice of carriers

• Supplies are located on the site by navigating “Products > Sales Kits and Provider Directories.”

• Shipping information is located on the page.

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