Benefits Blog: November 2020 Updates

KAISER PERMANENTE: Pharmacy network optimization takes next steps in 2021

The goal of our pharmacy optimization work is to improve quality, safety, costs, and care outcomes for our members. As part of this work, we are making some changes to our pharmacy network and prescription fill policies that we want to make sure you’re aware of.

Effective January 1, 2021, we are removing 51 Bartell pharmacies from our Core network in the Puget Sound region and 4 network pharmacies near the new Smokey Point Medical Center in Marysville. We are sending letters to affected members in late October notifying them of the changes and explaining how to transfer their prescriptions to a Kaiser Permanente pharmacy, an in-network pharmacy, or our mail-order service.

In addition, we are introducing new maintenance medication first-fill and refill policies as part of some of our 2021 health plans. Members may fill their first supply of a maintenance drug at any in-network pharmacy or through mail order. Subsequent refills must be filled via mail order or at a Kaiser Permanente pharmacy.

Get ready for the Great American Smokeout by enrolling in the Quit For Life® Program this November through Kaiser Permanente. Learn more!

PREMERA: MOBE Program Discontinuing December 31, 2020

In order to offer our customers access to the highest level of care, Premera constantly reviews the cost and quality of the clinical programs we offer to our customers and make updates as appropriate.

After careful consideration, Premera will be discontinuing our program with MOBE effective December 31, 2020.

While MOBE was implemented due to its innovative approach to addressing the affordability and customer satisfaction of care, we seek to find a better solution that will allow us to offer a program that will lower claims cost and improve affordability of care.

How will impacted clients be notified?

Employer groups will receive a notification of the discontinuation of the MOBE program in the next Employer News e-newsletter, distributed on Tuesday, October 20, 2020.

Impacted members will receive a letter and an email by the end of the month notifying them of the change and a plan for a smooth transition.

If you have additional questions about the discontinuation of the MOBE program, you may reach out to your Premera representative.


Due to ongoing concerns with COVID-19, WCIF has made some adjustments to our 2021 Meeting Schedule. The March Board Meeting and the April Benefits Summit will now be held virtually. CLICK HERE to view the amended meeting schedule!

WCIF is adding a new Rx option in 2021 for our over age 65 retirees!

WCIF retirees over the age of 65 who are in rolled in WCIF’s Medicare Supplement plan will have a NEW lower cost prescription drug plan option beginning January 1, 2021.

What to retirees need to do?

Retiree’s currently enrolled in the Medicare Supplement plans through WCIF will see the new prescription drug plan option when they receive their renewal packet (sent by Vimly at the end of the year). Plan summaries and rates are still being finalized, but we expect the 2021 information to be available on our website around the end on November.  

For eligible retirees (anyone over age 65 retiring from a WCIF participating employer), these plans are available to them to elect as their primary Medicare Supplement and Part D prescription drug program, but they will need to reach out to us for enrollment information.

More details to come in the coming weeks.