BCBS Medicare

4 based on 85 Reviews*

For more information on BSBS Medicare, please call the number below to speak with a healthcare specialist:

1-800-810-1437TTY 711

As with other large carriers, Medicare represents a crucial segment of Blue Cross Blue Shield’s policies. The insurer carries a variety of Medicare Advantage plans, which are private insurance policies that offer the same type of coverage as Original Medicare (Parts A and B) and Medicare Part D (prescription drug plans; PDPs).

10/20/2016 Update: Use the form below to obtain real time pricing for 2017 BCBS Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare Supplement and Medicare Advantage Plans. Includes information regarding BCBS Plan prescription drug coverage and co-pays. Please note that you will not be contacted by multiple parties. HealthNetwork respects your privacy and works very hard to ensure a quality consumer experience. We are happy to discuss your options with you online, over the phone, or if you prefer, we can even have a licensed medicare agent meet with you in your home or workplace.

BCBS Medicare Plans Click Here To Get 2017 Pricing

This insurance carrier understands the importance of Medicare, and they’ve gone to great lengths to ensure its continued success among beneficiaries. This is vital, as research suggests that the country’s senior citizen population of number of senior citizens will grow to 90 million by 2050, adding to the demand for healthcare services. In addition, over a 20-year period, a 65-year-old couple’s average total medical expenses will be $218,000, in addition to what Medicare already covers. As such, in April 2015, the carrier announced the launch of a private health insurance exchange, designed to assist Medicare-eligible retirees with the switch from group health benefits to individual Medicare Advantage coverage, including MA, Part D and Medigap plans.

If you have any questions at all, don't hesitate to call and speak with one of our healthcare professionals. Available 24/7 at 1-800-810-1437TTY 711

In 2016, almost 30 percent of all Medicare beneficiaries – more than 16 million – had Medicare Advantage (MA) coverage, which is an all-time high. And BCBS is actually one of the leading insurers when it comes to MA enrollment; in 2015, the various companies accounted for 16 percent (2.68 million) of all MA policies.

BCBS Medicare Plans

When selecting coverage, the BCBS website separates Medicare plans by specific states. That means that to enroll, you need to look for your state’s specific BCBS Medicare Advantage programs. BCBS’ 36 individual and locally operated companies offer coverage in all 50 states,  Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico. Generally, most states offer multiple MA plans, depending on your medical needs and budget, although they may have different costs. As each state has its own BCBS Medicare program, some have higher ratings than others. This criteria includes such factors as: prescription drug coverage, customer satisfaction, customer reviews, long-term care and variety of options.

The insurer’s MA plans include both Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) and Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs).You can also break them down into individual (the more common option) and those with or without prescription drug coverage.

In addition, plan options can be categorized by:

  1. Cost-Effectiveness
  2. Fundamentals
  3. Popularity
  4. Comprehensiveness

Among these plans’ benefits are:

  • Inpatient services
  • Outpatient services, surgery
  • Specialist services
  • Emergency services
  • Office visits
  • Ambulance services
  • Urgent care
  • Preventive care
  • Chiropractic care
  • In-network vision services
  • Lasik eye surgery
  • Fitness membership
  • Part D prescription drug coverage
  • Durable medical equipment (DME) — meant for home use, long-lasting and medically prescribed and necessary

PPO

BCBS Medicare Plus Blue PPO Essential

With this PPO, you can visit in-network and out-of-network providers and facilities, and prescription drug coverage is included.

PPO

BCBS Medicare Plus Blue PPO Vitality

This plan’s copays are generally higher, except for office visits.

PPO

BCBS Medicare Plus Blue PPO Signature

Offering lower copays and cheaper prescription drug prices, this is the preferred BCBS plan. Additionally, copays, including those for office visits, are the same or lower than other plans.

PPO

BCBS Medicare Plus Blue PPO Assure

This PPO offers the lowest deductible and maximum out-of-pocket costs, as well as lower copays. However, the monthly premium is higher.

RX

Stand-alone BCBS Prescription Drug Plans

For those enrollees preferring individual PDPs, these plan options include:
  1. Prescription Blue PDP Option A, which has lower monthly payments than Option B and no deductible for preferred generic medications. But you do pay more for some drugs until you reach the coverage gap; you receive discounts during the coverage gap and low copays after.
  2. Prescription Blue PDP Option B, which has a higher monthly payment than Option A, but lower pharmacy costs. . It has no deductible, and while in the coverage gap, you have a $3 copay for some generic drugs and discounts on other drugs.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS) is a worldwide insurance provider. More than 99 million Americans use BCBS for insurance policies. As a health insurance provider, BCBS’ history dates back to 1929. It was started as a health insurance provider for teachers under Blue Cross and a plan for employers of mining camps in the Pacific Northwest as Blue Shield. At the very beginning, employees paid monthly fees to groups of physicians for coverage. The companies eventually merged to become BCBS.

The company’s current headquarters are in Chicago. They have a strong financial strength and support their nearly 100 million members with $320 million in revenue each year. There are actually 39 different insurance companies that comprise Blue Cross and Blue Shield; but the company’s coverage is available in all 50 states.

It can be confusing to find information about Medicare plans through Blue Cross and Blue Shield, since you have to look them up by state first. All of the Medicare plans are separated into different regions. There are many options for Medicare Advantage plans, whether you like individual or group plans, and if you want prescription drug coverage or not.

Additional Information Regarding BCBS / Anthem

Breaking down the “Blues” of BCBS

Under the Blue Cross Blue Shield organizational system, the carrier is comprised of 36 independent and locally owned companies that serve one-third of the nation’s population, or 107 million consumers. BCBS also includes the larger Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association (BCBSA), which owns and manages the companies and their many trademarks and licenses, nationally and internationally. The BCBSA is responsible for the carrier’s business and political matters, as well. These companies are designed to function as nonprofit organizations, although some are publicly traded company; this has led to controversy within and outside the carrier.

Among the Blues, the largest plan is the publicly traded Anthem Inc., which offers coverage in 14 states: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin. Other Blues companies serving multiple states include Health Care Service Corp. (HCSC, the nation’s largest nonprofit insurer), CareFirst, The Regence Group and Highmark.

BCBS has direct access to a large pool of providers and hospitals (92 percent and 96 percent , respectively), ensuring stable, high-level care and financial strength for its enrollees. According to a leading healthcare company AthenaHealth, among 166 plans, six BCBS companies made up 2015’s top 10 performers. The carrier has also made a commitment to value-based care, in which doctors and hospitals are paid for helping to ensure and improve patients’ health, rather than the traditional fee-for-service approach. In 2014, they increased value-based care spending by $71 billion, compared to 2013.

Overview of BCBS Medicare

There are a few different Medicare Advantage and supplemental plans offered by BCBS. These plans combine Medicare Part A and Part B with prescription drug coverage, in some cases. This means that your hospital insurance, medical insurance and prescription drugs can all be covered in one plan by using a Medicare Advantage plan through BCBS.

In addition to Medicare Advantage plans, you can also get Medicare supplemental policies, like Medigap and stand-alone prescription drug coverage, if you currently have Original Medicare, but want help for medication costs.

BCBS has a number of different Medicare plans that are broken down into four areas: cost-effectiveness, fundamental, popular and comprehensive. These plans are typical HMO and PPO plans that provide Part A and Part B, with some extras thrown in, as well. To enroll in these plans, you will need to look for BCBS Medicare Advantage programs in your state, as plans are only available to compare by area.

Getting Medicare with BCBS

Blue Cross and Blue Shield offers plan finders by state. Each state has its own BCBS Medicare site. For example, BCBSM.com is Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. You can search for plans on these sites, though some are more convenient than others to use.

On these sites, you’ll typically find links to individual coverage or group coverage. Individual coverage is what you will most likely be looking for. However, if you are interested in Medicare group coverage through BCBS, here are some tips:

  • Medicare Plus Blue Group PPO is a group plan for comprehensive health coverage
  • It combines Part A (hospital) and Part B (medical) insurance
  • Additional preventive services are included
  • You can choose any doctor or hospital that accepts Original Medicare
  • It offers lower out-of-pocket costs

Most likely, you’ll sign up for individual coverage. The exceptions are if you have multiple individuals who want to join together with the group PPO plan, and you live in a state that supports it.

If you try to find and compare plans on BCBS.com, you won’t be able to find a lot of information, as with Humana or AETNA. The plans are buried in the “Medicare Options” button, under “Shop for Health Insurance.” This button redirects you to AskBlueMedicare.com/bcbsa. A video will load and turn into a slideshow, where you can enter your ZIP code to get started. From here, you have to go through a questionnaire to see available options for Medicare Advantage with BCBS.

The questionnaire is fairly simple and takes you through preliminary questions to see what you’re looking for. You can also choose to email a copy of the plans to you at the end. Of course, this requires that you enter your email address.

However, the questionnaire and website seems completely unnecessary, when you realize that it simply is directing you to the state Medicare Advantage site. A simple “enter your ZIP code” here to load your Medicare plans would be more efficient with your time.

Most states have a few different BCBS Medicare Advantage plans, including:
  • Medicare Plus Blue PPO
  • Medicare Plus Blue PPO Essential
  • Medicare Plus Blue PPO Vitality
  • Medicare Plus Blue PPO Signature
  • Medicare Plus Blue PPO Assure
  • Medicare Plus Blue Group PPO
  • Prescription Blue PDP

These plans have different values depending on your medical needs and budget. Some will be happier with group PPO coverage and others won’t mind paying higher co-pays for extras and lower annual deductibles. With its variety of different plans, this makes it easier to get the right coverage and price.

What does Medicare Advantage Cost in Your Area?

Benefits and Costs of BCBS Medicare

You can find all of the plans listed in a BCBS Medicare chart, but it doesn’t have any links. This chart is most suitable for seeing what’s possibly available in a glance at your region. To get coverage, you’ll need to find your state’s Blue Cross and Blue Shield Medicare site.

Most regions will have a number of plans, but in order to see these plans, you’ll need to fill out some information for yourself. This is cumbersome and doesn’t really play nice for those who want to compare plans privately.

Benefits for each of the plans include those below, but copays and costs are different depending on the plan that you pick.

  • Inpatient services
  • Outpatient services
  • Office visits
  • Specialist services
  • Outpatient surgery
  • Ambulance services
  • Urgent care
  • Emergency services
  • Durable medical equipment
  • Preventive care
  • Chiropractic care
  • Preventive care for dental
  • In-network vision services
  • Lasik eye surgery
  • Fitness membership
  • Part D prescription drug coverage

The costs of each BCBS Medicare plan break down as follows, but remember, these are average costs. For specific plans and pricing, you would have to look up BCBS Medicare plans by your state.

BCBS Medicare Plus Blue PPO Essential

Copays are generally lower for this plan. With this plan, prescription drug coverage is included, as well.

BCBS Medicare Plus Blue PPO Vitality

Copays are generally higher with this plan. However, this plan has a lower copay for office visits.

BCBS Medicare Plus Blue PPO Signature

Most customers recommend the Signature Medicare Advantage Plan from BCBS. It has lower copays and cheaper prices for prescription drugs. The copays on this plan are the same or lower than other plays. The copay on office visits is lower, as well.

This plan is better for individuals who want to spread out their costs over time and want lower costs on medications.

BCBS Medicare Plus Blue PPO Assure

Out of all BCBS plans, the Medicare Plus Blue PPO Assure has the lowest deductible and maximum out-of-pocket costs, but the monthly premium is higher. This plan has lower copays as well.

Stand-alone BCBS Prescription Drug Plans

Blue Cross and Blue Shield also has stand-alone prescription drug plans. These include Prescription Blue PDP Option A and Option B.

Benefits for these plans are as follows:

Blue Cross and Blue Shield tries to cover all of the bases with its coverage. However, the system is a bit difficult to navigate if you are trying to look up coverage for someone else. For instance, you won’t be able to get any plan information in some states without inputting specific details about the person’s age and health condition.

Speak with an Agent now. 1-800-810-1437TTY 711

BCBS Medicare Advantage Rating

Quality ratings from the Medicare program for Blue Cross and Blue Shield will depend on each state. In some states, star ratings are higher. For example, Michigan received four-star ratings, but in other areas, like Florida, plans only received three stars. These quality scores are based on a number of factors, including: customer satisfaction, customer reviews, long-term care, variety of options and prescription drug coverage.

In general, Blue Cross and Blue Shield has a number of different plans and breaks down the costs adequately depending on the monthly premium. The costs are a little bit higher, but these plans also have more flexibility. PPO plans allow you to see in-network and out-of-network doctors; this makes it easier to find a doctor or hospital who will accept your insurance.

However, to offer more quality customer service and assist customers in finding the right plan, BCBS needs a streamlined approach to its Medicare Advantage plan comparison. It’s difficult to compare the prices, even when you go to a state’s website. That’s because the costs vary so greatly and some of the plan names are different.

The extra dental, vision and wellness programs are great perks for these plans. The free fitness membership will help those who want to stay fit. For these extra services, you do pay a higher copay and deductible.

If you’re interested in purchasing a Medicare Advantage, Part D or a Supplement plan, we invite you to shop with us, at HealthNetwork.com/Medicare


*Star Rating
The star rating listed above is reflective of results of consumer polling from individuals who have used in the past and or currently use that carriers medicare plan. These do not reflect star ratings that have been assigned to each individual carriers plan by CMS. For detailed information about each plans CMS star rating please visit Medicare.gov.

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