Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network Moderate Rates for 2021 ACA Plans
by Brianna Neace
| 3 min read
DETROIT, June 12, 2020 – Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network will hold average price increases for individual market health plans below three percent for the upcoming 2021 open enrollment period, pending approval of rates filed with state regulators this week. On average, BCBSM PPO and BCN HMO plans will see a low rate increase of 1.7 and 2.5 percent, respectively. Blue Cross will continue to offer plans in every Michigan county, as it has since the launch of the Marketplace in 2013. “Blue Cross is pleased to once again offer a wide choice of affordable health plan options to Michigan residents at price points that are fairly close to those we’ve had for the past couple of years,” said Rick Notter, vice president of Individual Business for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. “Lower premium increases for 2021 represent our ongoing success in addressing the root causes of rising health care costs by collaborating with doctors, and using data and technology to drive efficiency and make care more affordable.” Blue Cross and BCN will continue to provide a variety of plan options – 29 total plans across Gold, Silver, Bronze and Catastrophic levels – while remaining the only carrier in the Upper Peninsula and offering a combined 10 plans between PPO and HMO in the region. Adding to a diversified portfolio of two Gold, 16 Silver, eight Bronze and two Catastrophic level offerings, one new product will be introduced for 2021 open enrollment, the Blue Cross Preferred HMO Bronze plan. “Our Blue Cross Preferred HMO Bronze plan is designed to provide an affordable plan option that offers comprehensive coverage for primary health care services including no-cost telemedicine services through Blue Cross Online Visits,” said Notter. “One of our primary goals at Blue Cross is to make care more accessible and this new benefit is just one example of many that illustrate our continuous efforts to move the needle forward.” The new Preferred HMO Bronze plan will be Blue Cross’ first Bronze HMO option for members in 67 counties that offers no-cost or before deductible services. In addition to free telemedicine services, the plan will offer no-cost annual and wellness visits for adults and children, vaccinations and diabetes management tools, among other benefits. Average price increases for Blue Cross’ 2021 Marketplace health plans are below national projections. Experts estimate rate increases of at least four to six percent with some plans already proposing average premium increases of more than seven percent. Ongoing rate moderation in Michigan is a result of Blue Cross’ long-standing partnerships with physicians and hospitals across the state to deliver more high-quality, cost-efficient care to patients through its Value Partnerships programs. Recently through these programs, Blue Cross was able to quickly convene with 35 Michigan hospitals to create “MI-COVID19,” a comprehensive, multi-site registry likely to be one of the largest collections of COVID-19 patient data to date. The information garnered from this registry will be used to provide insight into best practices in treating patients with the virus. During a time of significant disruption and uncertainty in health care, Blue Cross and BCN’s member support has extended beyond rate moderation, providing several no-cost services including COVID-19 testing and treatment and medical and behavioral telehealth visits, among other offerings. One-time rebates will also be issued to 2019 individual plan subscribers resulting from lower than expected health care claims that will amount to approximately $45 million. 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 and administers health benefits to more than 4.5 million members residing in Michigan in addition to employees of Michigan-headquartered companies who reside outside the state. For more company information, visit bcbsm.com and MiBluesPerspectives.com.