Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Offers New Medicare Plans

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Beginning Saturday, October 15th, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan will offer three Medicare Advantage PPO plans for 2012. In addition, the Blue Care Network, BCBSM’s HMO affiliate, will offer four HMO-POS products for the upcoming year. Michigan members must enroll before December 7th so coverage can become effective on January 1st, 2012.

"Blue Cross Medicare Advantage products provide Medicare beneficiaries with a wide array of plan choices," said Mark Owen, BCBSM vice president for Federal and Individual Business. "All of our Medicare Advantage plans provide additional benefits that Original Medicare doesn't cover, with even more benefits added this year.''

Medicare Advantage plans roll all medical benefits into one plan. The cover everything included in Original Medicare and may also include extra health care services.

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PPO’s, or preferred provider organizations, contract with physicians to build a network, but you can visit any doctor who accepts Medicare without a referral. BCBSM will offer three PPO products called Medicare Plus Blue PPO Assure, Signature, and Vitality.

HMO’s (health maintenance Organizations) let you select a primary care physician from the BCBS provider network and this PCP manages your overall care. He or she will refer you to a specialist or to a selected hospital for care should you need additional services beyond his scope of practice. Referring yourself to an outside provider will cause a forfeit of benefits and out-of-pocket costs. The four BCBSM HMO products, formerly known as Options 1, 2, and 3, will now be known as BCN Advantage Elements, Classic , and Prestige. The Blues Care Network will also continue to offer the BCN Advantage Basic Plan.

Premium costs for Medicare Advantage plans vary by product and by region. To receive an estimate of your medical costs under each plan, visit the Blue Cross Blue Shield Blue Care Network of Michigan website. Blue Cross will also be hosting statewide informational seminars to help Medicare beneficiaries learn more about coverage options. For seminar dates and locations, visit bcbsm.com/medicare.

In addition to Medicare Advantage, BCBSM can also help you select supplemental plans, known as Medigap plans, and Prescription Drug Plans, called Medicare Part D which helps subscribers pay for brand-name and generic prescription drugs.

SOURCE: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network are nonprofit corporations and independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

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