DETROIT, June 5, 2023 – Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network are adding new benefits and streamlining plan offerings for people selecting individual health plans during the upcoming 2024 ACA Marketplace open enrollment period.
New benefits for 2024 open enrollment include adding Virtual Primary Care to all individual Blue Cross PPO plans and adding a menopause benefit to the Maven Maternity and Family program for all individual Blue Cross PPO and BCN HMO plans.
Recently updated guidelines from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services set a limit on the number of non-standardized plan options that issuers of qualified health plans can offer through Marketplaces on the Federal platform. These restrictions help simplify the health care shopping experience for consumers to more easily compare options and choose the plan best-suited for their health care needs. Under these guidelines, Blue Cross and BCN will maintain a variety of coverage options with 43 plan offerings for 2024 enrollment – four Gold, 18 Silver, 18 Bronze and three Catastrophic level offerings.
“We understand that choosing the right health plan can be an overwhelming and confusing process, especially when consumers are faced with more options to sort through each year,” said Rick Notter, vice president of Individual Business for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. “We’re confident our added benefits and CMS’ changes will help provide members and consumers with more comprehensive plan options to fit their individual needs and less uncertainty around enrollment.”
Members in closing plans will be moved to a new, similar plan within the same metal level and network, where possible. Two new off-Marketplace Bronze HSA plans will be added for BCN members enrolling without a premium subsidy who wish to retain an HSA option on the Local HMO and Metro Detroit HMO networks at a lower premium price. Blue Cross remains the only insurer in the state to offer a PPO plan on the exchange and provide coverage in each of Michigan’s 83 counties, as well as the sole carrier in the Upper Peninsula.
Pending approval of rates filed with state regulators this week, on average, Blue Cross PPO plans will see a rate increase of four percent and Blue Care Network HMO plans will see an increase of 5.4 percent. The rate adjustments result in part from higher-than-average pharmacy cost trends, specifically within specialty pharmacy, and an increase in the prescribing of new, high-cost medications, including drugs for weight loss and diabetes treatment. For early 2023, BCBSM’s book of business has observed year-over-year total pharmacy cost increases in excess of 20%. These trends are expected to be a challenge for the remainder of 2023 and into 2024 as additional new treatments emerge.
Blue Cross’ and BCN’s combined membership in individual plans has remained steady, with more than 148,000 members enrolled in individual market health plans, more than 60 percent of whom receive subsidies through the Marketplace.
Several benefits are included as part of all individual plans to keep members and their families healthy at no extra cost. These services include free annual visits, wellness appointments, vaccines and diabetes management tools, among other features.
About Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit mutual insurance company, is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. BCBSM provides health benefits to more than 4.7 million members residing in Michigan in addition to employees of Michigan-headquartered companies residing outside the state. The company has been committed to delivering affordable health care products through a broad variety of plans for businesses, individuals and seniors for more than 80 years. Beyond health care coverage, BCBSM supports impactful community initiatives and provides leadership in improving health care. For more information, visit bcbsm.com and MiBluesPerspectives.com.