Legacy Medigap members with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan recently received three letters informing them of new rates that will take affect starting Jan. 1, 2017. You can learn more about the reasons for these rate changes here. To help offset the cost of Medigap premiums for the most financially vulnerable, subsidy assistance is now available to Michigan residents with Medigap or Medicare Supplement insurance through the Michigan Health Endowment Fund. The Michigan Medigap Subsidy is funded by Blue Cross as part of our 18-year, $1.56 billion commitment to the Health Endowment Fund. Subsidies are available to lower-income people to assist with the cost of their Medicare Supplement coverage. Blue Cross and some other insurance companies participate. People should check with their Medigap insurance provider to see if they participate in the subsidy program. People with a Medicare Supplement insurance plan can apply for the Michigan Medigap Subsidy Oct. 1, 2016 and through Dec. 15, 2016. To receive the full subsidy, applications must be received before the enrollment period closes on Dec. 15, 2016. If you apply after that date, you might only qualify for a partial subsidy. So, make sure to apply soon. Who is eligible? To qualify for the subsidy through the Michigan Health Endowment Fund, you need to be a Michigan resident, your income must be at or below 225% of the Federal poverty level for your household size, be enrolled for Medicare Supplement coverage right now, and your insurer must participate in the program. A qualifying income for an individual is $26,730 and below, while it is $36,045 for a couple. Where to apply The easiest application is online. You may also call 1-866-824-9772 (TTY: 1-866-824-7002), Mondays through Fridays between 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. To fill out a paper application, please click on this link or call the Michigan Health Endowment Fund to have one mailed to you. To apply, you will need:
- Proof of Medicare Supplement coverage, such as a copy of your insurance card
- Proof of income, such as a copy of 2015 tax return or Social Security benefit statement.
- Income is based on your adjusted gross income
- Proof that you live in Michigan, such as a copy of your driver’s license, state ID card or voter registration card
The Michigan Health Endowment Fund will review your application to ensure you meet criteria and contact you with a letter informing you of next steps. If you are approved, your subsidy will go directly to your insurer beginning January 1, 2017, and there is nothing more you need to do. If you are denied, you may contact the Michigan Health Endowment Fund directly, of reapply if your circumstances change. Medicare Supplement members must reapply for the subsidy each year. Photo credit: COD Newsroom