Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is the only health insurer to offer coverage to people in all of Michigan’s 83 counties on the federally-run health insurance marketplace that opened today at 8 a.m.
Blue Cross and its affiliated HMO, Blue Care Network of Michigan, offer some of the lowest-priced plans across Michigan’s 16 rating regions. In the majority of counties in Michigan, BCBSM or BCN bronze and silver plan options offer some of the most affordable premiums on the Health Insurance Marketplace. Products, pricing and plan design are available on www.healthcare.gov and on the BCBSM website at www.bcbsm.com/myblue.
“Blue Cross and Blue Care Network have worked very hard to put affordable health insurance options in front of Michigan consumers as uninsured people and small employers begin open enrollment today,” said Terry Burke, BCBSM vice president for individual business. “As people examine their choices, Blue Cross will be offering guidance – both online and on the phone – to help people make a health plan choice that is right for them.”
The Blues offer a total of 18 options for coverage. These products are available on the federally-run Health Insurance Marketplace created by the Affordable Care Act, opening today, through independent Blue-certified insurance agents and directly through BCBSM and BCN.
“The Affordable Care Act has significantly changed what health insurance covers, how it’s sold and what it costs. With the marketplace now open, consumers will be able to choose from 18 competitively priced Blues products, with options available to Michigan residents in every county,” Burke said. “We are proud to offer some of the lowest-priced plans in Michigan. These affordable options give more people the opportunity to choose Blue Cross plans.”
Both Blue Cross and Blue Care Network will offer plans at the Gold, Silver, Bronze and Catastrophic levels. Under ACA guidelines, Bronze plans will cover 60 percent of health care expenses, Silver plans cover 70 percent, and Gold cover 80 percent. Catastrophic plans, available to individuals under the age of 30 or those qualifying for a hardship, have a higher deductible and are not associated with metal level actuarial values.
The following represent pricing averages for BCBSM and BCN individual plans offered on the Health Insurance Marketplace. The prices shown are without the subsidy that some individuals may qualify for. Subsidies can be estimated by using BCBSM’s subsidy calculator.
Burke said consumers should expect to spend more time on the phone with their insurance advisor/agent to answer questions and determine the right fit for an individual or family, within the parameters of their lifestyle and budget and work through the new application processes
Consumers can visit HealthCareReformBasics.com to learn more about the way the ACA may affect them, and learn more about their potential cost, impact and eligibility for financial subsidies to help them buy coverage. People not covered by their employer and shopping for individual health insurance can also visit bcbsm.com/myblue, talk with a Blues Health Plan Advisor (HPA) by calling (855)-890-2410 or contact their licensed Blue Cross agent to answer any questions about BCBSM and BCN products available on the Health Insurance Marketplace.
“Health care reform affects everyone,” Burke said. “The law requires people to have health insurance coverage – either through their employer or on their own – on January 1 or face a tax penalty. In seeking that coverage, people will have more robust options because health plans are required to cover more services, increasing the value and the cost of those plans. In addition, financial support is available to make coverage more affordable under the law, and people will have greater access due to the elimination of preexisting condition exclusions. This is a whale of a change for many people, but Blue Cross is here to help people sort through it and find the right plan for them.”
The ACA offers more access to richer health benefits for more people. Essential Health Benefits (EHBs) are required of all carriers, more preventive services will be covered in every carrier’s offering, and carriers cannot turn individuals away based on health status.
For nearly 75 years BCBSM has offered high quality products to all Michigan residents, regardless of their health status. BCBSM’s offerings in all 83 counties throughout Michigan provide affordable choices for all residents, both on and off the Marketplace.
“Blue Cross will continue its work as a trusted advisor to people who have questions,” said Burke. “We will help those without coverage understand the subsidies they may qualify for, how to apply them on the Health Insurance Marketplace, and how they may be, in certain cases, eligible for Medicaid under expanded federal income criteria.”
For general information on health reform, visit HealthCareReformBasics.com.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan has entered into an agreement with CMS to provide health insurance coverage through Qualified Health Plans on the Health Insurance Marketplace.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is a nonprofit corporation and independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more information, visit www.bcbsm.com/healthreform.