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Blue Cross, Blue Care Network Control Cost Increases on Individual Marketplace Insurance Plans

Thanks to its longstanding partnerships with physicians and hospitals, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is holding rates on plans offered through the individual marketplace in Michigan to moderate rate increases for 2021.

Despite turbulence in the health care industry during the pandemic, Blue Cross’ work with provider partners and hospitals to deliver high-quality, cost-efficient care throughout the past 15 years is allowing the company to control cost increases.

Individuals seeking to re-enroll or enroll in a BCBSM PPO or Blue Care Network HMO plan through the marketplace in Michigan will see average rate increases of 1.7% and 2.5%, respectively, for the 2021 enrollment year.

These average price increases on individual Blue Cross and Blue Care Network plans in 2021 are well below national projections, which are estimating average rate increases of four to six percent.

Blue Cross and Blue Care Network offer 29 plan options on the individual marketplace in the state across Gold, Silver, Bronze and Catastrophic levels, and are adding a new product: a Blue Cross Preferred HMO Bronze plan.

The plan is designed to offer comprehensive coverage for primary care services at affordable rates. Members in of the new Preferred HMO Bronze plan will also benefit from no-cost telemedicine through Blue Cross Online Visits.

Blue Cross continues to offer insurance plans in every Michigan county on the individual marketplace, as it has since its launch in 2013 as a result of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Blue Cross is the only carrier on the marketplace serving the Upper Peninsula with 10 plan options from PPO to HMO.

Blue Cross attributes the stability in its rate increases to its efforts addressing the root causes of the rising costs of health care costs by using collaboration, data and technology to drive efficiency and make care more affordable.

One initiative is Value Partnerships, a collection of programs that involve physicians and hospitals that emphasizes value-based, outcomes-based health care. Results from these programs have saved nearly $2.2 billion in the last decade as repeated tests were avoided, complications and errors were reduced, ER visits and hospital stays were prevented and care was coordinated.

Blue Cross expanded this work recently by announcing an innovative payment arrangement with provider organizations and hospitals in Michigan called Blueprint for Affordability. These risk-sharing contracts with some of the leading hospital systems and provider organizations further the shift to value-based care and allow Blue Cross make health care more affordable for members and customers.

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