Image of an older couple smiling.

How Blue Cross is Working to Improve Senior Health

For most, life after age 65 is full and vibrant. Without work demands, there’s more time to pursue hobbies, travel, spend time with family and friends and well, just be.

If you’re one of the 10,000 people becoming Medicare-eligible every day, it’s more important than ever to make sure your health care coverage helps you live the best life possible. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan’s Senior Health Services division works hard to ensure that seniors who choose our Medicare Advantage plans stay healthy and happy with their care.

Dr. John Fong, senior vice president, Medical Management and chief clinical officer, BCBSM Senior Health Services, said thinking has shifted from a mindset of treating sickness to preventing it in the first place. He said focusing on building strong provider relationships to close gaps in care, improving preventive care for members and thinking deeply about members’ lives and what obstacles they face to achieving optimal health, are all part of what makes Blue Cross offerings for seniors so strong.

  • Focusing on members. Medicare Advantage plans cover everything Original Medicare does, plus provides extra benefits to keep you healthy, such as annual wellness visits, travel coverage, preventive dental and vision checkups and screenings, and access to SilverSneakers fitness programs. For members with serious illness, care support programs help coordinate care through home visits and phone consultations, helping medically fragile seniors more effectively navigate their care while improving their health outcomes.
  • Partnering with providers. The Senior Health Services team works directly with care providers to help them deliver a more streamlined and satisfying experience when members go to the doctor’s office. By looking at claims, Fong said Blue Cross is also able to help providers understand the types and prevalence of illness they’re dealing with – and where they might have gaps in being able to provide care. “In order for physicians to do the best job for our seniors, they have to accurately understand the burden of illness of the population,” he said.
  • Innovating to address senior’s unique needs. It’s hard to stay healthy if you’re struggling to eat or aren’t sure how to find a specialist to help you. In 2019 Medicare plans, Blue Cross will pilot programs geared toward addressing social determinants of health, economic and social conditions that affect health status. More focus will be placed on finding supportive community resources for members to access to help them live their best, healthiest lives.

For those reasons and many more, BCBSM is a leader in the senior health services market. In fact, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan has historically been the Medicare Advantage market share leader in Michigan.

Dr. Fong will share insights about Blue Cross’ innovative Senior Health Services area at the RiseWest Summit, taking place Sept. 12-14.

Like this post? Read these:

Photo credit: Wavebreakmedia

FINAL-Y0074_19WrkngImprvSnrHlth_M CMS Accepted 09142018