Blue Medicare Regional PPO Plan

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With a quality Blue Medicare Regional PPO plan, you’re covered with prescription drug coverage as well as vision, dental, even hearing. That’s Medicare benefits and more all from a top provider you can trust. Choose convenient mail ordering for prescriptions and enjoy $0 deductible and $6 co-pays for generic drugs. Plus, as a member of a Blue Medicare plan, you get access to a variety of value added services for free. That means you can schedule appointments, get prescriptions filled, even view lab test results from the comforts of home.
Source: zeitlerweb.com

Video: Is Freedom Blue PPO a Medicare Supplement?

Blue Medicare Regional PPO Plan

Cost is a major concern for most of us these days and hardly anyone passes on the chance to save a few dollars. With a Blue Medicare Regional PPO plan, saving is easy. With $0 monthly plan premiums, moderate out-of-pocket expenses and more, it’s easy to find the perfect plan to fit your needs and your wallet. That’s great news for seniors on a fixed income and exactly why so many Floridians choose Florida Blue as their Medicare health plan option. Plus, with no deductible for preventive care, you can get vaccines, routine screenings and more easily and conveniently.
Source: ruthiehendricks.com

Florida Blue Medicare PPO

Prescription drugs are a significant part of staying healthy and it’s critical you can get the medicine you need to look and feel your best. With Florida Blue Medicare PPO, generic and brand name drugs are covered with a $0 deductible for generic drugs and $6 drug co-pay. Plus, if you choose to have your medication mailed to you, the co-pay is $0. With Florida Blue Medicare PPO, access to the right medication is easier than ever before.
Source: comhealth.org

Medicare Advantage 2014 Spotlight: Plan Availability and Premiums

While many organizations offer Medicare Advantage plans, a few – particularly Humana, United Healthcare, and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS) affiliates – have particularly large geographic spread and these organizations historically account for a disproportionate share of enrollment. In 2014, 44 percent of available plans are being offered by one of these three firms or affiliates (Table A4).  Plans offered by these firms are available to most beneficiaries.  Nationwide, 83 percent of Medicare beneficiaries will have access to one or more Humana plans, 73 percent will have access to a BCBS affiliated plan (including BCBS plans offered by Wellpoint), and 68 percent will have access to a United Healthcare plan (Exhibit 5; Table A5).  The general availability of these firms’ products has not noticeably changed from 2013 to 2014.  However, the similarities in BCBS offerings from 2013 to 2014 obscure a decline in availability of BCBS branded Wellpoint plans (declining from 88 plans to 55 plans between 2013 and 2014), which is mostly offset by the growth in plans offered by other BCBS affiliates (growing from 205 plans to 233 plans between 2013 and 2014).
Source: kff.org

Newsroom – Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan broadens Medicare options with new Medicare Advantage PPO product

October 1 is the first day BCBSM and Medicare Advantage carriers across the nation can market their Medicare Advantage products for 2010. Beneficiaries in BCBSM Medicare Advantage products will receive letters in the next 10 days about the new product line-up. "Blue Cross remains fully committed to providing products to Medicare beneficiaries and will continue to have the broadest array of Medicare Advantage products in the state," said Mark Owen, BCBSM vice president for federal and individual business. "It’s important for Medicare beneficiaries to know that there is no immediate change to their coverage. They have until the end of the year to make their selection for 2010." In addition to the three BCBSM products for 2010, seniors also can select from three Medicare Advantage products offered by Blue Care Network, the BCBSM-affiliated HMO. "We will be working with insurance agents and other groups across the state to reach out to Medicare beneficiaries to help them navigate these product and premium changes," said Owen. Seniors who meet low income guidelines can receive subsidies from the state and/or federal government to pay for all or part of their premiums. Medicare Advantage premiums vary by product and region. The new PPO product is expected to provide beneficiaries with value for their premium. For example, the BCBSM Medicare Plus Blue PPO, which includes Part D prescription drug coverage, will cost between $61 and $141 a month (premiums vary by geographic region), while traditional BCBSM Medicare Supplemental (Medigap) Plan C plans cost $183 when combined with a stand-alone Part D BCBSM prescription drug program. Medicare Advantage plans offer Medicare benefits through private health insurance plans and most include Part D prescription drug coverage. When you purchase a Medicare Advantage plan, you do not need to also purchase a Medigap policy. Medicare Advantage plans are regulated solely by the federal government, while Medigap plans are regulated by the state. The announced product changes are only for Medicare beneficiaries who directly purchase their Medicare Advantage products, not for beneficiaries enrolled in a group plan. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network are nonprofit corporations and independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.
Source: bcbsm.com

New medical plans for faculty, staff for 2013 / UCLA Today

Some big changes and new choices in medical plans are coming to Open Enrollment this fall. UC is offering a revamped menu of plans for 2014 that offers better value and clearer choices, including two new plans: Blue Shield Health Savings Plan, which features a UC-funded health savings account; and UC Care, UC’s own three-tier PPO plan that offers members access to UC doctors and hospitals as well as the Blue Shield PPO network. Health Net Blue & Gold, Kaiser Permanente, Western Health Advantage and Core (administered by Blue Shield) will still be available. Four plans — Anthem Blue Cross PPO and PLUS, Anthem Lumenos with HRA and Health Net Full HMO — are being discontinued.   “The 2014 plans provide clear and distinct choices to meet our employees and retirees’ diverse and changing needs,” said Michael Baptista, executive director of benefits programs and strategy. “The designs of these plans have very little overlap. Everyone can choose a plan based on what’s most important to him or her, whether that’s having predictable costs or the widest choice of doctors.” UC employees and retirees will continue to have a broad choice of providers — including UC medical center doctors, hospitals and medical groups — and plan designs to fit their needs. The provider networks for both the Blue Shield Health Savings Plan and UC Care include 97 percent of the providers in the current Anthem Blue Cross network, so most people in those discontinued plans should be able to keep their doctor. Employees currently in Anthem Blue Cross PPO, Anthem Blue Cross PLUS and Health Net HMO will also pay smaller monthly premiums next year, regardless of the new plan they choose. Savings will depend on the new plan, salary band and dependents covered. The Blue Shield Health Savings Plan premiums are expected to be similar to the premiums for Anthem Lumenos PPO with HRA. Premiums for Health Net Blue & Gold, Kaiser and WHA are expected to increase from $2 to $10 per month, depending on the plan, salary band and dependents covered. UC will continue to cover an average of about 85 percent of the cost of the premiums. The final premiums will be available in early October. The 2014 plan offerings are the result of a comprehensive review of UC’s medical plan portfolio aimed at providing high quality medical insurance that is more specific to individual needs, while limiting cost increases to employees and the university. The review also offered an opportunity to leverage UC’s outstanding medical centers and take advantage of the changing medical-insurance marketplace. “We know how important quality medical insurance is to our employees and retirees, and we are continually looking for ways to ensure good benefits while limiting cost increases for employees and the university,” said Baptista. “Health care reform and a changing medical-insurance marketplace provided a good opportunity to rethink our benefits while still maintaining choice and quality.” Two Plans In, Four Plans Out The two new plans offer broad, nationwide networks of doctors and hospitals through Blue Shield, including UC’s medical centers, and both are expected to have lower monthly premiums than Anthem Blue Cross PPO, Anthem Blue Cross PLUS and Health Net HMO. UC Care is a new health plan created just for UC employees, retirees and families with coverage wherever you live, worldwide. You can get care from UC doctors and medical centers as well as the entire Blue Shield network of providers. You pay a fixed copayment when you use UC and other select providers near all UC campuses and coinsurance when using the other 65,000 Blue Shield providers. You also have coverage for out-of-network care. The Blue Shield Health Savings Plan is a high-deductible PPO plan paired with a health savings account (HSA) that lets you pay your out-of-pocket health care costs with tax-free dollars. UC provides an initial contribution and you can also make pre-tax contributions. You can use the funds any time for qualified medical expenses or save them for future health care needs. Your HSA balance carries over from year-to-year and you own the balance in the account, even if you transfer to another medical plan or leave UC. Blue Shield’s large PPO provider network offers a wide choice of doctors and hospitals or you can see out-of-network providers if you want to pay more. UC is eliminating the Anthem Blue Cross PPO and PLUS plans and the Health Net full HMO plan because they no longer provide the right value. “The costs for these plans continue to increase at a much faster rate than the other plans,” Baptista said. “Neither the university nor employees can continue to absorb double-digit annual increases.” The Anthem Lumenos PPO with HRA is being replaced with the Blue Shield Health Savings Plan. Employees are finding plans with health savings accounts to be more popular because of the tax advantages, the portability of the account and the ability to use the account to save for future retirement insurance needs. New for retirees Retirees and employees planning to retire in 2014 will have similar choices as employees. All six employee plans will be available to retirees not yet eligible for Medicare. Medicare-eligible retirees in California will have five plan options: Kaiser Senior Advantage, Health Net Seniority Plus, Blue Shield PPO, Blue Shield PPO without prescription drug coverage and Blue Shield High Option Supplement to Medicare. The Blue Shield Medicare plans are very similar to the current Anthem Blue Cross Medicare plans. For Medicare-eligible retirees living outside California, UC is taking a new approach. For those Medicare-eligible retirees with all covered family members in Medicare, UC will fund a Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA) which retirees will use to purchase individual coverage through Extend Health, a company that sponsors a Medicare Exchange. With the assistance of Extend Health’s licensed and trained benefit advisors, each covered family member will choose an individual Medicare plan that’s best for them. That includes Kaiser and other Medicare Advantage plans available in the retiree’s location. With the growing market for individual plans, many retirees will have more choices, many of which could meet their needs better than the UC plans currently available. In 2014, due to other changes in the UC-sponsored medical plan portfolio, only the Medicare PPO and the High Option Supplement to Medicare plans would have been available to those outside of California. UC plans extensive communication and education about medical plan choices throughout the fall to help faculty, staff and retirees make good choices. Watch for additional news stories, in-home mailings and campus events where you can learn more. Find all the details here.
Source: ucla.edu

PPO vs. EPO for My Daughter?

Question: I live in Santa Cruz and currently have double insurance. Medicare(disability) and Blue Shield Stand-Alone PPO SMall Group. I needed to keep the PPO because I have a minor daughter and Medicare does not cover minors. I noticed that Blue Shield will only have an EPO. My daughter will be going off to college next year. What is the difference between an EPO and PPO? I want to be able to select my own drs. I do not know where my daughter will be going to college but it will be in CA. Should I consider getting her a separate plan ? What plan would you recommend for me? Will the small group business plans continue under Blue Shield?
Source: cahba.com

Blue Care Network expands Medicare Advantage service area, Blue Cross and Blue Care Network add plan options

In addition, BCN Advantage members will now be able to “buy up” to more comprehensive dental and vision benefits for a modest additional premium. Members will receive partial coverage on restorative services such as fillings, root canals, crowns and crown repairs. They’ll also get an allowance for frames and lenses to improve their vision health.
Source: hcwreview.com

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Offers New Medicare Plans

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.
Source: emaxhealth.com

The Difference Between an HMO & PPO

Be careful and make sure to never buy health insurance where premiums sent outside the USA. Some have done this only to find when they get a large hospital bill IT DOESN’T EXIST. Stick with reputable companies or check with your State Insurance Commissioner. In many states there are insurance plans that are more economical based upon income. Ex: In New York State, New York Now, Health Families, Child Health Plus. You can also go to www.medicare.gov for a lot of information. With Medicare ALWAYS buy part B or you will incur lots of bills as it is what pays 80% of outpatient tests and doctor bills. Check out your state’s Medicare Advantage Plans (basically every Oct to Dec 7th you can pick one and Medicare pays the one you pick $14,000 premium and they cover you not Medicare). Based on your needs some have prescription coverage and some don’t. Younger people with a good income (over $45,000)….if you can’t get insurance through work you are going to be shocked by premiums like in NYS with MVP and others under the wonderful O’Bama plans of over $30,000 a year to cover a family and deductibles on some plans of $6,000 per family member! Also, always make sure your doctor and local hospital are a member of your plan chosen and nearby regional hospital or you will pay a lot as out of network all the time. If you are under 26 you can remain on your parents’ insurance even if married and pay mom and dad the extra they pay for a family plan versus a couple plan. Many miss that fact.
Source: insurance.com