Insurance Changes

Please refer to the FAQs for information regarding Furman’s transition to Blue Cross effective September 1, 2020.

Transition to Blue Cross Blue Shield FAQs

Why did Furman University change carriers in the middle of the plan year?

Our community has been negatively affected by the months-long inability of our current insurance partner, CIGNA, and Spartanburg Health to negotiate an agreement on services.  This has resulted in two-thirds of our faculty and staff being out-of-network with their health care providers, which has led to additional out-of-pocket costs.

Due to the breakdown in negotiations, the affect this is having on our community, and the need for a stable network, Furman has decided to transition our health insurance to Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina, effective September 1, 2020.

Senior leadership, the Benefits Committee, and Human Resources have been evaluating options available with other carriers and it has been determined that moving to Blue Cross Blue Shield will provide a strong network while allowing us to keep the plan structure that is in place with CIGNA.

May I change from one medical plan to another now that we are switching to BCBS?

No, the transition to BCBS does not allow a change in the plan you are currently enrolled.  You may change your medical plan election during open enrollment or within 30 days of a qualifying Life Status Change Event (IRS Section 125 event).

When will I receive a medical plan identification card?

Once BCBS receives the census data from Furman they will begin processing the information.  BCBS has stated that all employees should have their identification cards prior to September 1, 2020.  If you have not updated a recent address change you need to do this with Human Resources immediately. Below is a sample of the ID card you will receive.  Please note:  all cards will have the employee name only and will not include the dependent’s name.

What if I do not receive a new medical plan identification card?

If you have not already downloaded our app, please do so by visiting the App Store or Google Play and searching for My Health Toolkit. Once you’ve downloaded the app, create your account by entering the Social Security number associated with the health plan and your date of birth.  You will then create your profile by choosing a username, password, answering security question and setting your preference on how you would like to receive your Explanation of Benefits (EOB).  Within the app you will be able to access and share an electronic version of your ID card. If you need to order another ID card you will need to link over to the full My Health Toolkit website which can be done by selecting “Full Site” within the app. Once you are in the full site, select “View your ID card” and then “Request Card Through Mail”.  You will then be able to choose how many ID cards you would like printed. You will receive your ID card within 7 business day.

I live in another state and not South Carolina? Will I be able to use BCBS of SC?

Yes, although the carrier is with BCBS of SC we have established a national plan that will allow employees to obtain healthcare coverage with other Blue Cross networks in other states without any access fees.

Will this change also change our Dental and Vision benefits?

No, Dental and Vision are not with CIGNA so this will only affect the medical benefits.

What will happen to my HSA funds that I currently have with HSA Bank?

Effective September 1, 2020, your HSA account will remain with HSA Bank along with the balance and future contributions for the plan year of 2020.

How do I access my HSA account without access to MyCigna?

Please click here to view instructions on accessing your HSA account.

I have already met my deductible or I am very close to meeting it, what happens?

BCBS will honor the amounts paid on your deductibles and accrued out of pocket expenses.  Those amounts will be shared with BCBS from CIGNA and will continue to be updated until 08/31/20 from CIGNA.

Will my pharmacy authorizations transfer automatically from CIGNA to BCBS?

Your authorization will not be transferred, so you will need to get a new authorization for any drug that requires one. BlueCross BlueShield will provide a grace period through 10/31 for any member currently using a drug that’s in the Prior Authorization or Step Therapy program. If you need any assistance or have any issues surrounding your authorization you can reach out to the BlueCross BlueShield Customer Service team at 855.819.0960.

How will this work for medications/treatments that require annual authorizations (Jan to Dec) in place? Will those authorizations transfer automatically from CIGNA to BCBS?

We are working on this.  More to come.

I have an upcoming appointment in early September. How do I know my physician is in the network?

99.9% of the physicians in South Carolina are in the network but when you get your card you can call your physician’s office and give them the new medical card information and they will be able to tell you.  Prior to receiving your card you can also visit their website at and select “Find a Doctor” under the Member section.  You will Select Non-Members, where you can access the “Preferred Blue Network” and find care based provider name, service type of condition.

Will deductibles, co-pays, co-insurance, and out of pocket maximums change?

No, for the effective date September 1, 2020 there will be no plan changes.

Will the training sessions coming up in August be recorded?

Yes, we will record these sessions for the convenience of others.

Will my premiums change?

No. The premiums for the medical plan will remain the same as they currently are.

I have a specialty medication that I had to get authorization for and it took a long time to have it authorized. I cannot go without this medication. What is the process to get my medication authorized with BCBS?

You can contact Optum Specialty at 877.259.9428 beginning in mid-August to get set up for your first refill. The specialty customer service representative will help with getting a new prescription from your doctor, if necessary, as well as any information needed to begin a new prior authorization request. You will be provided with a grace period to get this prior authorization. If you have any issues you can reach out to BlueCross BlueShield Customer Service who will be able to assist you with ensuring the grace period is in place for your prior authorization. The dedicated line for Furman employees is 855.819.0960.

I have been using mail service to get my prescriptions. What do I do now?

Your prescriptions will be transferred from your current mail service pharmacy to your new mail-service pharmacy, Optum Home Delivery.* However, it’s possible that your prescription may not be there beginning September 1 but should be transferred shortly thereafter. Please follow these steps:

  • If available, please try to fill your current mail service prescription before the end of August. That will ensure you have enough on hand during the transition.
  • You can call Optum Home Delivery at 855.811.2218 to get set up to use mail-service any time after mid-August.

*Certain prescriptions cannot be transferred, by law. These include prescriptions with no refills left, as well as compounds and controlled substances. In these cases, you will have to get a new prescription from your doctor. The Home Delivery pharmacy can help you.

What will happen when I go to the pharmacy?

If you have a prescription at a local retail pharmacy you will simply go to that pharmacy show your new BlueCross BlueShield of SC ID card and if your prescription is still active it can be filled.

What happened to my medical and prescription coverage I already had? Do I need to reenroll?

Any coverage you were previously enrolled in with our previous vendor was transferred over to BCBS effective September 1st.