Medicare supplement plans offered by Blue Cross Blue Shield provide additional beyond the benefits offered through Original Medicare. Enrolling in your choice of a Blue Cross Blue Shield Medigap plan helps provide benefits best suited to your budget and specific health care needs, of special importance to individuals seeking options for their senior care and senior living needs.
Discover details about the various plans, how to enroll, what the plans cover and your costs.
If you have Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B, you potentially qualify for a Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare supplement plan. Medigap plans, sold by private insurance companies, offer benefits that help fill the “gaps” of coverage through traditional Medicare, including possible coverage for some senior care and senior living needs.
A company selling Medicare supplement plans have to identify the policy on the front page as “Medicare Supplement Insurance.” Blue Cross Blue Shield abides by this and all other federal and state laws.
Standardized Medicare supplement plans offer the same coverage for the same plan across all states. If you choose Plan Dand your relative across the country also chooses Plan D, you both have the same benefits. Blue Cross Blue Shield points out that Medicare supplement plans are offered in all 50 states, but that plans potentially vary in enrollment eligibility and premiums.
Medicare supplement plans helps cover costs such as coinsurance, deductibles, and co-payments after Original Medicare pays its share of health care costs.
Medicare supplement plans provide coverage for one individual. If you and your spouse both enroll in a Blue Cross Blue Shield Medigap plan, you enroll in separate plans. You do not have to enroll in the same plan because your spouse may have health care coverage needs that differ from yours, making a different plan a better option.
All Medigap plans cover at least 50 percent of costs associated with hospice care coinsurance or co-payment. If you choose Plan A or Plan B, you do not have coverage for skilled nursing facility care coinsurance, potentially important factors to individuals in search of a plan to help cover senior care or senior living expenses.
All companies offering Medicare supplement plans have to offer Plan A and Plan B. Currently, all private insurance companies offering Medigap policies also have to offer either Plan C or Plan F.
Changes taking effect in 2020 eliminates Plan C and Plan F. Currently, Plans C and F are the only plans offering coverage for Medicare Part B deductible costs. If you currently have Plan C or Plan F, your coverage continues. The changes affect only individuals enrolling in Medicare supplement plans after 2019.
Motley Fool reveals that the closest plan to Plan C is Medigap Plan D, which provides all the benefits offered by Plan C, except coverage for your Medicare Part B deductible. Plan D provides other benefits not offered by all plans such as 80 percent of costs of your healthcare while traveling abroad and Part A deductible coverage.
Discuss your options with your Blue Cross Blue Shield representative, including which plan is likely your best choice for optimal Medigap coverage in your area.
Plan premiums vary by companies selling the plans. Blue Cross Blue Shield points out that as long as you pay your premiums on time, your coverage automatically renews every year, dependent upon the availability of that plan. Remember that if you already have Plan C or Plan F at the time it disappears, your coverage continues under that plan.
The way that you set your Medigap premium payments affects your costs today and over time. Medicare supplement plans are rated by three different methods.
The Community-Rated Plan option offers the same premium pricing for everyone, regardless of age. If you are 70 and your spouse is 65 when you enroll, you both pay the same premium. While not necessarily the least expensive Medicare supplement plan at the time of enrollment, it likely proves least expensive over time.
The Issue-Age-Rated option premium is based on your age when you enroll. Although it does not increase over time, it potentially increases due to inflation.
The Attained-Age-Rated premium option seems least expensive at first, but likely proves the most expensive, because premiums increase as you age.
The best time to enroll in a Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare supplement plan is when first eligible once you turn 65 through three months after you reach age 65 years old. Many people enroll during the annual open enrollment period.
Discuss enrollment procedures and options with your local Blue Cross Blue Shield representative to start receiving Medicare supplement plan coverage and benefits.