Summary: Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare Supplement Plans are available across the United States. BCBS Medicare Supplement insurance can help to cover out-of-pocket costs that Original Medicare leaves you with. Find out if a BCBS Medigap plan is right for you. Estimated Read Time: 6 mins
Table of Contents:
- What Are Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare Supplement Plans?
- Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare Supplement Pros and Cons
- Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare Supplement Plan Costs
- BCBS Medicare Select Plans
- BCBS Medicare Supplement Plan Rate Increase
- Blue Cross Blue Shield Medigap Plan Additional Benefits
- Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare Supplement Plan Rating
Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) Medicare Supplement Plans are a favorable option for several Medicare beneficiaries nationwide. The company comprises 34 individual companies and makes up close to 42% of the health insurance market in the U.S., making them a dominant player in the health insurance industry.
Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare Supplement plans are available in all 50 U.S. states plus Washington, D.C. However, be sure to research which Blue Cross Blue Shield companies are available in your area. Some of the most common BCBS plans are Anthem, Horizon, Florida Blue, Highmark, Amerigroup, Wellpoint, and Empire.
Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plans are designed to help cover out-of-pocket costs that Original Medicare leaves behind. As a Medicare beneficiary, when you use Original Medicare benefits, you are left with out-of-pocket expenses such as copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles. While these costs may not sound like much, as you continue to use the benefits, your medical bills may begin to stack up and become overbearing. BCBS Medigap plans help alleviate these costs.
Blue Cross Blue Shield offers all twelve Medicare Supplement plans to their policyholders. However, not every plan may be available in every area.
|Medicare Supplement Plan A||Basic benefit Medigap plan|
|Medicare Supplement Plan B||Basic benefits plus coverage for Medicare Part A deductible|
|Medicare Supplement Plan C||Comprehensive coverage plan (first dollar coverage)|
|Medicare Supplement Plan D||Mid-cost plan that covers most Medigap benefits|
|Medicare Supplement Plan F||Comprehensive coverage plan (first dollar coverage)|
|Medicare Supplement Plan G||Most comprehensive plan for new Medicare beneficiaries|
|Medicare Supplement Plan K||Low-cost Medigap plan, 50% coverage for most benefits|
|Medicare Supplement Plan L||Low-cost Medigap plan, 75% coverage for most benefits|
|Medicare Supplement Plan M||Covers most benefits, 50% coverage for Medicare Part A deductible|
|Medicare Supplement Plan N||Low premium plan with copays|
Keep in mind, that Medicare Supplement Plan C and Plan F are not available for new Medicare enrollees through all carriers, including Blue Cross Blue Shield. If you received Original Medicare after January 1, 2020, you are not eligible to enroll in either Medigap Plan F or Medigap Plan C.
In states where standardized Medicare Supplement insurance plans are not available, such as Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, BCBS still offers Medicare Supplement plans that are in line with the typical plan for that state. In Wisconsin BCBS offers the Basic plan and several additional riders. In Minnesota, BCBS offers the Basic Plan and the Extended Basic Plan. In Massachusetts, BCBS offers the CORE Plan, the Supplement 1 Plan, and the Supplement 1A Plan.
The chart below reviews the pros and cons of Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare Supplement plans.
|Blue Cross Blue Shield Pros||Blue Cross Blue Shield Cons|
BCBS Medicare Supplement Plan costs may vary depending on various factors. Medicare Supplement insurance plan premiums depend on your age, tobacco-use status, ZIP Code, and gender. Yet, Blue Cross Blue Shield provides their plans differently depending on these factors. Medicare Supplement plan premiums can range from $70-$400 depending on the plan letter you decide to enroll in.
Additionally, Blue Cross Blue Shield offers several discounts for those who enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan. These discounts include an automatic payment discount for allowing direct deposit, a prepayment discount for paying the full year of premium costs at once, and a household discount for a spouse or household member who is also on a Blue Cross Blue Shield Medigap plan.
In some states, BCBS also offers Medicare Select policies. Medicare Select plans are different versions of the standard Medicare Supplement plans. The difference is that while any Medigap plan allows you to see any doctor who accepts Medicare, Medicare Select plans are more selective.
Medicare Select plans have all the same benefits as a regular Medicare Supplement plan. However, If you have a Medicare Select policy, you can only see healthcare providers in a specific network for nonemergency services. In exchange for such network restrictions, Medicare Select plans offer lower premiums.
If you see an out-of-network provider on a Medicare Select plan, you will be responsible for any out-of-pocket costs you could face.
If you’re considering a Medicare Select plan, it’s important to review the in-network provider list and learn about any restrictions for the policy you want to enroll in.
Every insurance company has an annual rate increase. This is a normal part of Medicare Supplement coverage. However, Medicare Supplement rate increases are hard to predict and vary by state. This means that a Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare Supplement Plan N in Oklahoma will increase differently from the same plan in Maine.
To avoid a large rate increase year over year, it is important to work with a licensed agent who has access to multiple plans and carriers. The agent can review all plans in your area. This can help you choose the best plan possible and help monitor price increases in the future. This way, you can stay on top of rate increases and avoid an unexpected premium hike.
While Medicare Supplement plans include the same coverage across the United States, private insurance companies can offer extra benefits and add-ons.
For example, some Anthem BCBS plans may offer dental and vision coverage through Anthem Extras packages. Anthem Extras packages may cover costs for eye exams, eyeglass frames, contact lenses, dental exams, and dental cleanings.
These add-ons have additional monthly premium costs alongside the premium for your Medigap policy. Like with Medicare Supplement plans, the premium cost depends on the amount of coverage included.
Some other extras that can be included with BCBS Medigap plans include discount programs for health care costs such as prescription drugs, over-the-counter health and wellness products, eyeglasses, and hearing aids.
Some BCBS Medicare Supplement plans may also offer fitness programs such as SilverSneakers that can include gym memberships, fitness classes, and wellness programs.
Regarding carrier ratings, AM Best is the standard for Medicare Supplement plans. Blue Cross Blue Shield plans are available in the United States and in the Global Market. AM Best has declared that Blue Cross Blue Shield has an A+ rating.
This superior rating means Blue Cross Blue Shield has the ability to meet their ongoing financial obligations to provide coverage.
How to Compare Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare Supplement Options in Your Area
When it comes to finding the right Medicare Supplement plan, it’s important to compare all the Medicare coverage options available to you whether you want a Medigap plan through BCBS or another carrier.
To connect with a licensed insurance agent and receive your free Medicare Supplement plan comparison, complete our online rate form today.
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- Medigap, Blue Cross Blue Shield . Accessed August 2023.
- Medicare Coverage Options, Blue Cross Blue Shield . Accessed August 2023.
- Medicare Supplement Plan Options, Anthem . Accessed August 2023.