Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network Expand Medicare Advantage Offerings for Michigan Seniors

Meghan O'Brien

| 5 min read

DETROIT, Oct. 10, 2016— More than 30% of people 65 and older in the U.S. are enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans, and over the next 10 years, this number is expected to increase by 50% as Baby Boomers continue to enroll. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network have created more choice in plan options and provider partnerships to meet the new, evolving health needs of Michigan’s Medicare-eligible seniors and persons with disabilities. “Today’s Medicare-eligible Michigan residents are more diverse than ever,” said Julie Smith, senior vice president of Senior Health Services at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. “With Baby Boomers aging in, and those loyal Medicare members who have been with us for years, our members’ health needs, expectations and lifestyles can vary greatly. We know to best serve Michigan seniors, we have to present choices. We now have more than 13 plan options, including Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement, or Medigap plans, which offer a variety of premium and benefit levels so people can find a plan that best meets their financial and health needs.” Many Medicare beneficiaries want more benefits than they get with Original Medicare, and like the security of knowing there’s a limit to what they pay for medical expenses. For 2017, in addition to a new Blue Cross Medicare Supplement plan, Blue Cross is giving consumers the option to choose from new Medicare Advantage plans that provide a complete coverage package, with the convenience of one ID card for all services. Each plan is designed to meet the health needs and budget of a segment of today’s diverse senior population. The 2017 Blue Cross Medicare Advantage plan offerings include:
  • Light: For people who typically have few health issues, can pay less every month, but when they seek care, their out-of-pocket costs may be higher.
o BCN Advantage HMO HealthySaver o BCN Advantage HMO-POS Elements o BCN Advantage HMO-POS Basic o Medicare Plus Blue PPO Essential
  • Balanced: These plans provide a solid balance between cost and coverage.
o BCN Advantage HMO ConnectedCare o BCN Advantage HMO MyChoice Wellness o Medicare Plus Blue PPO Vitality o BCN Advantage HMO-POS Classic o Medicare Plus PPO Blue Signature
  • Extended: For those who use their coverage more often, monthly premiums will be higher but their actual out-of-pocket expenses will be less.
o Medicare Plus Blue PPO Assure o BCN Advantage HMO-POS Prestige These Medicare Advantage plans offer more coverage and preventive care than Original Medicare plans. Most plans include services that are not available through Original Medicare to help members stay healthy, including the SilverSneakers® fitness membership program. In Michigan, more Medicare beneficiaries choose Medicare Advantage plans from Blue Cross and Blue Care Network than all other plans combined. Blue Cross is the largest insurer in Michigan for the senior market and nearly every hospital in Michigan is in Blue Cross’ network. Medicare Plus Blue PPO is available in all Michigan counties and has one of the largest Medicare Advantage Preferred Provider Organization networks in the nation. Blue Cross continues to add to its popular local-network products, created in partnership with providers and hospitals, with expanded plan offerings for 2017. These plans offer strong value by delivering substantial benefits at affordable price points. For the 2017 plan year, Blue Cross has made changes to two existing BCN AdvantageSM HMO products and added a new one; BCN Advantage HMO HealthySaver. Current BCN Advantage HMO products have also expanded into additional counties. Highlights include:
  • BCN Advantage HMO MyChoice Wellness will begin serving Ottawa County in addition to Kent, Muskegon and Oceana Counties.
  • BCN Advantage HMO ConnectedCare will add Arenac, Iosco and Saginaw Counties, expanding its service area from eight counties to 11.
  • The new BCN Advantage HMO HealthySaver product will be available in the 15 counties served by BCN Advantage MyChoice Wellness and BCN Advantage ConnectedCare.
Blue Cross continues to rank high among Medicare plans, receiving a four-out-of-five star rating for its 2016 Medicare Plus BlueSM PPO, and a four-and-a-half out of five star rating on its 2016 BCN Advantage HMO and HMO-POS plans from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). CMS rates how well Medicare Advantage plans perform on 48 different elements under five broad medical categories (for example, detecting and preventing illness, ratings from patients, patient safety and customer service) and four broad drug categories (for example, patient safety and efficacy, members’ experience and customer service). Plan performance star ratings are assessed each year, released mid-October, and may change from one year to the next For more information on a Blue Cross Medicare Advantage plan, visit or call 1-888-563-3307 (TTY users call 711) Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit mutual insurance company, and Blue Care Network are independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. BCBSM and BCN provide and administer health benefits to more than 4.4 million members residing in Michigan in addition to employees of Michigan-headquartered companies who reside outside the state. For more company information, visit and Healthways, SilverSneakers and SilverSneakers FLEX are registered trademarks or trademarks of Healthways, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries. Healthways is an independent corporation retained by the Blues to provide services to its BCN Advantage and Medicare Plus Blue members. © 2016 Healthways, Inc. All rights reserved.
MI Blues Perspectives is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association