Today, more than 30% of people 65 and older are enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans, and over the course of the next 10 years, this number is expected to increase by 50% as Baby Boomers begin to enroll. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network have created more choice in plan options and provider partnerships to meet the new, evolving health needs of Michigan’s Medicare-eligible seniors and persons with disabilities.
“With Baby Boomers aging in, mixing with our existing membership base, our members’ health needs, expectations, lifestyles and habits are more diverse than ever,” said Julie Smith, vice president, Senior Business at BCBSM. “We’ve been listening to our members – and they’re telling us they need choice. We now have more than 10 plan options, offering a variety of cost and benefit levels so people can find a plan that best meets their financial and health needs, no matter which phase of life they find themselves in.”
Many Medicare beneficiaries want more benefits than they get with Original Medicare, and like the security of knowing there’s a limit to what they pay for medical expenses. In 2015, Blue Cross is giving consumers the option to choose from new Medicare Advantage plans that provide the complete insurance package, with the convenience of one ID card for all services. Each plan is designed to fit what works best for each member’s physical and financial health status. The 2015 BCBSM Medicare Advantage plan offerings include:
Light: For members who typically have very few health issues, can pay less every month, but their out-of-pocket costs when they seek care may be higher.
BCN Advantage Basic HMO-POS
BCN Advantage Elements HMO-POS
BCBSM Medicare Plus Blue Essential PPO
Balanced: These plans provide a solid balance between cost and coverage.
BCN Advantage MyChoice Wellness HMO
BCN Advantage ConnectedCare HMO
BCN Advantage Classic HMO-POS
BCBSM Medicare Plus Blue Vitality PPO
BCBSM Medicare Plus Blue Signature PPO
Extended: For those who use their coverage more often, monthly premiums will be higher but their actual out-of-pocket will cost less.
BCN Advantage Prestige HMO-POS
BCBSM Medicare Plus Blue Assure PPO
These Medicare Advantage plans offer more coverage and support than Original Medicare plans. Many plans include services that are not available through Original Medicare to help members stay healthy. Blue Cross is the largest insurer in Michigan for the senior market and nearly every hospital in Michigan is in Blue Cross’ network. Medicare Plus Blue PPO is available in all Michigan counties and has one of the largest Medicare Advantage Preferred Provider Organization networks in the nation.
Blue Cross has also developed innovative “local network” plans, created in partnership with providers and hospitals. These plans offer strong value by delivering good benefits at affordable price points. MyChoice Wellness is in its second year as a local network HMO plan offered in three West Michigan counties. New in 2015 is ConnectedCare, a local network HMO plan offered in eight Michigan counties: Genesee, Kalamazoo, Livingston, Macomb, Oakland, St. Clair, Washtenaw, and Wayne.
In 2015, BCN Advantage HMO-POS is expanding its service area to six additional counties: Alpena, Benzie, Charlevoix, Emmet, Leelanau and Lenawee. It was also expanded to select zip codes within St. Joseph. All BCN Medicare Advantage members have the option to purchase supplemental coverage giving them the security of having extra dental, vision and hearing coverage.
Blue Cross continues to rank high among Medicare plans, receiving a four-out-of five star rating for its Medicare Plus Blue PPO, and a four-and-a-half star rating on its BCN Advantage HMO plan from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). CMS rates how well Medicare Advantage plans perform on 48 different elements under five broad medical categories (for example, detecting and preventing illness, rating from patients, patient safety and customer service) and four broad drug categories (for example, patient safety and efficacy, member’s experience and customer service). Plan performance Star Ratings are assessed each year and may change from one year to the next.
For more information on a Blue Cross Medicare Advantage plan, visit bcbsm.com/medicare or call 1-888-563-3307 (TTY users call 711) Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.