Blue Cross and Michigan Health Endowment Fund Team to Protect Vulnerable People

Andrew Hetzel

| 2 min read

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is beginning to work closely with nearly 200,000 members enrolled in Legacy Medigap plans to manage changes coming soon to the price of their products. Beginning January 1, 2017, premiums will be substantially higher. The changes result from the expiration of a five-year freeze on our premium rates, plus the expiration of a state-mandated subsidy program. Obviously, a big question on people’s minds will be how to maintain their ability to afford Medigap coverage. Many Medicare beneficiaries – particularly those with lower incomes – are already hard-pressed to come up with extra money for anything they buy. Big help for lower-income (adjusted gross income) people who choose to stay with a Medigap plan will come from the Michigan Health Endowment Fund. The Endowment Fund was created by state law and was given the responsibility to continue to provide subsidies to Medigap members who are financially vulnerable. Blue Cross has been the sole source of money for the Endowment Fund, having already paid $210 million out of a total commitment of $1.56 billion to be spread over 18 years. Who is eligible for Medigap subsidies? The Endowment Fund – which is independent from Blue Cross – created criteria for all future Medigap subsidies after consulting with the senior advocacy community and Michigan health plans, including Blue Cross. Medicare beneficiaries enrolling in Medigap are eligible for subsidies to reduce their premiums if their annual household incomes (adjusted gross incomes) are below $17,820 for an individual or below $24,030 for a couple. For people who qualify, what are the Medigap subsidies worth? If income criteria are met, subsidies for persons with disabilities under 65 years old are $125 per month. Subsidies for people ages 76 and older are $65 per month, and subsidies for people ages 65 to 75 are $40 per month. The subsidies will reduce the amount that the insurance company bills for Medigap coverage. When does the Medigap subsidy program begin? The program begins January 1, 2017, with enrollment beginning on October 1, 2016. How do people enroll? Blue Cross will mail application forms to all of our Legacy Medigap members to ensure our members can apply for subsidized premiums if they are eligible. People also can learn more by calling 866-824-9772 Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., or going online to Photo credit: Ian MacKenzie

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Blues Perspectives

Jun 3, 2017 at 1:04am

Hi Delores, We’d be happy to assist you in the application process. If you could fill out the form here:, a member of our team will reach out to you directly. Thank you, Taylar

Delores Venier

Jun 1, 2017 at 2:42pm

can not print mail paper application . 2651 Biddle #707 Wyandotte Michigan48192 sendme paper application venier

Blues Perspectives

Oct 7, 2016 at 1:19pm

Hi Beatrice, Thanks for reaching out. You can learn more about the coverage here We also encourage you to speak with a Health Plan Specialist by calling 1-855-339-9231. If you would rather have someone reach directly out to you, please provide your information here,, and Member Services will contact you directly. Thanks, Naomi

Beatrice Macgregor

Oct 7, 2016 at 12:31am

I am in the process of changing my blue cross to another one but I have heard about medigap and hope it is the one for me. My husband died about two years ago and now I need to select what is correct for me The Blue Cross I now have is MedicarePlus blue pop.

Blues Perspectives

Oct 5, 2016 at 1:41pm

Hi Irene, We apologize and would like to help. The Michigan Health Endowment Fund subsidy application can be submitted online here, or, you can download and print a paper application to mail in. If you have further questions, please contact us here, and a representative will be in touch directly. Thanks, Naomi

MI Blues Perspectives is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association