Important Information About Your Billing
Freelancers Union would like to make you aware of a change in your health insurance billing from Freelancers Union and Empire BlueCross BlueShield. Beginning August 1st, 2015, you will no longer receive a health insurance bill from Freelancers Union -- instead you will receive bills from and make payments to Empire.

This change will simplify and streamline the billing process for our members, and will make managing your health insurance easier and faster. All billing, claims and other administration will happen directly between you and Empire.

What You Need to Know
You should have already received a letter and email from Freelancers Union but in case you missed it, here’s the information you need to make the necessary changes to avoid any interruptions to your health insurance coverage.

Beginning August 1st, you will no longer make premium payments to Freelancers Union (this includes automatic payments). Empire will mail you an invoice for your September premium (which is due August 31st), and all future payments will be made directly to Empire.

Empire offers the following convenient payment options:

  • Automatic withdrawal from bank account

  • Check or money order

  • Online payment (ePay bill with Visa or Mastercard)

  • Pay by phone (using credit card or bank account)

Setting Up Your Payment Method
Starting August 12th, you can set up your preferred payment method by following these simple steps for the payment options below

Automatic withdrawal from bank account

Check or money order​​​

  • ​Be sure to include your member ID number (it will start with JLI or JLD) on the check and enclose the coupon attached to your invoice.

  • ​Please mail to:
    Empire BlueCross BlueShield
    P.O. Box 11792
    Newark, NJ 07101-4792

Online Payment - ePayBill

  • To sign up for paperless billing you must first:

    • Register at Empireblue.com

    • Follow the prompts to enter your payment information.

    • Fill in your Account Number (Member HCID), Zip Code and check the box accepting the Terms & Conditions. Then click Enroll Now.

    • Select Pay Bills Online.

    • Once logged in select the Pay My Bill Online link.

    • To sign up for paperless billing you must first register on EmpireBlue.com. Once you have registered:

      • Select Manage Profile

      • Then select Billing Accounts

      • Click on the button to Turn Paper Bills Off and follow the instructions.

Phone, using credit card or bank account:

  • Call Empire at 1-855-330-1104 to make a payment. Please have your member ID card and your bank or credit card information ready.

If you have any questions related to billing or setting up your account, call Empire at 1-855-330-1104.

Key Dates
Here are a few important dates to keep in mind as you set up your new payment method:

  • **July 31st: **Final day that Freelancers Union will accept health insurance payments.

  • August 5th: Invoice for health insurance to be sent from Empire.

  • August 5th: Invoices for dental, disability and life insurance to be sent from Freelancers Union. Pay these as you normally would.

  • **August 12th: **First day to set up payment options and make payments to Empire.

  • August 31st: September premium due to Empire.

Do NOT take any action or pay any September premium bills until after August 12th.

Dental, Disability or Life Insurance Payments
Payments for all Freelancers Union dental, disability or life insurance plans (not health!) will continue to be processed by us:

  • If you are enrolled in automatic payments through Freelancers Union, you’re all set and will only be billed for those lines of September coverage starting in August.

  • If you submit payment by check or by electronic payments directly from your bank, please sign into your Freelancers Union account to review the amount(s) due for dental, disability or life, and make the necessary adjustments to your payments.

FAQ’s:
Why is this happening?
Over the past year, we’ve received a lot of feedback from our members regarding different ways that we can improve our service. Health care is complicated enough as it is, and our goal in making this transition is to simplify payment and account maintenance for our members.

Freelancers Union is committed to providing low-cost, quality benefits and better healthcare solutions to our members. We will continue to be actively involved in quality assurance with Empire as well as plan selection process during open enrollment.

How will I benefit from the change?
In the long run we believe this transition will make billing and account maintenance a much smoother process for you. This way, any changes you make to your account will go into effect right away and when life changes -- you get married or have a baby or simply need to change your payment method -- you can update it all through your Empire account directly.

What do I need to do?
After August 12th, follow the steps outlined above in “Setting Up Your Payment Method” and on Empire’s downloadable “Billing and Payment Options” form. If you have any questions related to billing or setting up your account, call Empire at 1-855-330-1104.

If I don’t have health insurance through Freelancers Union but have dental, liability, life, and/or disability insurance through Freelancers Union, does this apply to me?
No. This change only applies to members who have Freelancers Union health care coverage through Empire.

Why do I still pay for my other insurance (dental, liability, life, and/or disability insurance) through Freelancers Union?
The administration of health insurance is complex, and often very time-sensitive. By streamlining the process, billing, claims and other administration can happen more quickly, accurately and without administrative delays. Freelancers Union will still be involved advocating on your behalf with Empire, as well as through our ongoing educational, legislative, media and community outreach.

Does this change affect my health insurance plan in any other way?
No. This change is strictly meant to make health care billing and account maintenance a smoother process for our members. Your coverage will stay the same.

What happens if I miss a payment?
There is a 30-day grace period if you miss a payment. After that period,** you can lose coverage**. If you missed the deadline to pay for August to Freelancers Union (July 31st), set up your account with Empire and pay them directly before August 31st.

You will receive a paper bill from Empire for the September premium and will need to set up your preferred payment method right away.

For any other questions, feel free to contact us at membership@freelancersunion.org.