Excellus is gearing up for open enrollment training for 2021 and they are excited to bring you a new way to learn about new products and programs. They know the preference for most of our brokers is training in an online format. And with everyone doing their best to maintain social distance these days, it became clear the ability to conduct meetings and training in a virtual setting would be needed, as well.

Their new online sales hub will be able to help you do just that, giving you convenient, on-demand access to pre-recorded training videos and sales collateral.
This will include a pre-recorded webinar available in September for our annual Open Enrollment meeting. Please contact your KAFL Employee team member at enrollment@kafl.com if you have a topic for consideration on the agenda. Further details will be provided as we get closer to the Open Enrollment meeting.

They will be reaching out via email in the next week or so to provide each of you with a unique URL for accessing the sales hub along with additional details.

For the original communication from Excellus, please click here

Beginning Monday June 8th health insurance carriers will begin to send notices to individual and group health insurance customers notifying them of the 2021 rates they are requesting.  PLEASE NOTE: these rates are not final and are subject to change.  The State of New York Department of Financial Services can come back to the carrier to adjust their request and the new rate would be communicated as the “final rate” for 2021 at a later date.  Once the group gets the notice from the carrier it is their responsibility to distribute it to any employee in that specific plan (note each plan may have a different rate change).  In addition these notices can be sent in either hard copy form or electronically to the employees.  If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to reach out to any member of our Employee Benefits team for help.  Thank you!

With this recent announcement by Excellus and Lifetime Benefit Solutions, we want you to know that KAFL is here to support you. Contact the KAFL Employee Benefits Team today to learn how we can help!  585-271-6400


Our Partner Lifetime Benefits Solutions’ 2020 Strategic Direction

We are writing to inform you about our partner, Lifetime Benefits Solutions’ (LBS), strategic direction for 2020 and beyond.

LBS has achieved great success over the last couple of years. Its ancillary lines of business (pharmacy, HRA, HSA, FSA, COBRA, compliance, retirement services) are growing steadily both locally and nationally.

LBS’ medical and dental TPA businesses have not been able to grow the way they had hoped.

To be as efficient as possible, LBS hopes to sell over its TPA businesses, where possible, to Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, who specializes in self-funding. This will allow LBS to focus on becoming a local and national leader in ancillary services.

LBS Account Representatives will be reaching out to their medical and dental TPA customers to inform them of this decision and to discuss their options after the current contract period.

For your ancillary services customers, there will be no changes. LBS will continue to provide high levels of customer satisfaction and innovation to serve you even better in the years to come.

Click here for original communication from Excellus.

Compliance With New York State Insurance Law and Small Group Eligibility

As part of our ongoing commitment to maintain compliance with New York State Insurance Law 4317(a)(1), we will continue to verify that our small groups are receiving community rates. As has been our practice, this process will include our request for confirmation of the number of full-time equivalent employees from our customers in the form of an Annual Group Information Form (AGIF).  Since this information is required in order to renew the group’s coverage, we will work closely with you to obtain the AGIFs for all of your groups who have not responded in the current year.  This will include additional reach-out letters to the non-responders requiring their reply.

Please contact the Employee Benefit department at KAFL with questions and for assistance with completing and submitting your AGIF (annual group information form).

New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) announced today, the updated NY Paid Family Leave (NY PFL) employee contribution rate for  upcoming 2020 calendar year.

The NY PFL Employee Rate will be increasing from 0.153% to 0.270%

Details of these updates are outlined below and will be effective January 1, 2020.


NY PFL Rate and Benefit Updates for 2020: 

NY PFL Employee Contribution Rate Change for 2020
Employee Rate 0.270% of employee’s weekly wages, up to annualized NYS Average Weekly Wage (NYSAWW-$1,401.17*)
Annualized NYS Average Weekly Wage Cap $72,860.84
Maximum Employee Annual Contribution $196.72


NY Paid Family Leave (PFL) Benefit Provisions
Claim Year 2020 2019
Effective Date January 1, 2019
(applicable to new leaves beginning 1/1/20 or later)
January 1, 2019
(applicable to all leaves initiated in 2019)
Maximum Length of Paid Leave 10 weeks 10 weeks
Payable Benefit % of an Employee’s Average Weekly Wage 60% 55%
Maximum Weekly Benefit

(Cap % of NY State Average Weekly Wage (NYSAWW*))

(60% of NYSAWW of $1,401.17*)
(55% of NYSAWW of $1,357.11*)


*The New York State Department of Labor annually publishes the NY State Average Weekly Wage by March 31 of each year, which will be the basis for determining the maximum benefit payable for the subsequent calendar year. https://labor.ny.gov/stats/avg_wkly_wage.shtm

Read more here: PFL Rate Decision – 2020

Under the Affordable Care Act, the Internal Revenue Service requires health insurers to request missing subscriber and dependent Social Security numbers from their members. In August, we will send Social Security number request letters to individuals who had health coverage at any time in 2019.


Learn More!

With changes coming to our Broker and Employer web portals, we’ve created a preview comparison of a few of the web site pages to give you a sense of what’s coming. As noted in past communication, you’ll need to create a NEW PASSWORD the first time you log in. No change is needed now; you’ll be prompted to make the change when the time comes.


Click here to Preview

On May 13, 2019, an application was submitted requesting 2020 premium rate changes in accordance with New York state prior approval law. This rate application applies to Community Rated Individual and Small Group products.

The following products are included in this 2020 rate filing:

  • Direct Pay Metal Plans and Base (catastrophic)
  • Bassett Preferred
  • CNY Preferred
  • Healthy NY EPO
  • SimplyBlue Plus
  • Excellus BCBS HMO

Employer Group Communication

Initial notification letters will be mailed to community-rated employer groups and direct pay members enrolled in the products listed above. The letter will include our requested rate percentage changes.

Broker Communication

You will receive an encrypted e-mail notification with copies of the initial notification letters being sent to your groups starting May 20.  The encrypted emails will expire if not read within the specified timeframe as indicated in your email notification.

Your groups will receive an annual rate notification with the actual, approved rates 60 days prior to their renewal date. The annual rate notices will be available to Brokers on Information Connection.

Please note: encrypted files expire after a specified time from the send date. You will not be able to access the information in the file if the email isn’t opened and read within that time. You will also be prompted to create a password associated with your email address to access the encrypted file.



Carrier Link with additional information.

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