Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan lowers rates, offers new $0 premium and copay plans, added supplemental benefits for 2021 Medicare annual enrollment period
by Brianna Neace
| 4 min read
DETROIT, Oct. 15, 2020 –Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan will provide even more value for Medicare members in 2021 with lower rates, new $0 premium HMO-POS and PPO options and a variety of no-cost benefits including medical and behavioral telehealth visits for the 2021 annual enrollment period. Premiums for many of Blue Cross and Blue Care Network’s 10 available Medicare Advantage plans will be maintained or reduced and feature expanded benefits to meet the needs of all eligible members. For the first time, the Blue Essential PPO plan will be offered at a $0 premium in most counties statewide and includes a $0 medical deductible and $0 in-network primary care doctor visits. Features include robust supplemental benefits including preventive dental services and routine hearing and vision coverage. Blue Cross is also introducing a new benefit program, “Advantage Dollars,” which offers members in select plans an allowance they can spend on over-the-counter supplies for health and hygiene, in addition to healthy foods. Members can use their Advantage Dollars card to purchase eligible products at over 1,600 retail locations in Michigan alone. “We at Blue Cross understand there’s been a lot of uncertainty and concern this year for seniors regarding their health and safety amid the pandemic, but reliable, affordable coverage options shouldn’t be one more thing for them to worry about,” said Krischa Winright, executive vice president of Senior Health Services at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. “We’re confident the new plans and extensive benefit enhancements for 2021 enrollment will provide even more value for our members while continuing to deliver the high quality and broad access to care that’s expected from Blue Cross.” For a more comprehensive HMO-POS coverage option, Blue Cross combined the most utilized benefits from four previously offered plans – HealthyValue HMO, HealthySaver HMO, My Choice Wellness HMO and Advantage Basic HMO-POS – to create the new Prime Value HMO-POS. This plan features a $0 monthly premium as well as a $0 copay for primary care doctor visits in- and out-of-network for on-the-go coverage that travels with members. Embedded preventive dental services are also provided with routine hearing and vision coverage. Members who were enrolled in one of the consolidated plans will be automatically enrolled in the Prime Value plan, unless otherwise chosen. “The new Prime Value HMO-POS plan is a great example of how we’ve simplified our Medicare product portfolio while also creating a more all-inclusive plan option,” said Winright. “All the benefits previously spread throughout four different plans are now available in one. Members pay less out-of-pocket overall and receive increased network flexibility and out-of-state coverage at a $0 premium.” To help provide the support members need to keep them safe at home, Blue Cross has developed a program for in-home support services and caregiver assistance, wellness check-ins, light housekeeping, companionship and reliable appointment transportation, among other supportive measures. Several of Blue Cross’ COVID-19 response efforts will remain in place for all individual Medicare Advantage plans including $0 in-network primary care doctor copays, $0 cost-share on medical and behavioral telehealth visits and $0 cost-share on COVID-19 testing and related services. For more information on a Medicare Advantage plan with Blue Cross, visit bcbsm.com/medicare or call 1-888-563-3307 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., with weekend hours Oct. 1 through March 31. TTY users call 711. Medicare Plus BlueSM, BCN AdvantageSM and Prescription BlueSM are PPO, HMO-POS, HMO and PDP plans with Medicare contracts. Enrollment in Medicare Plus Blue, BCN Advantage and Prescription Blue depends on contract renewal. This information is not a complete description of benefits. 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 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.