by Russell Noga | Updated May 14th, 2023
Navigating the world of Medicare Supplement Insurance can be daunting, but exploring Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL) Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans in 2024 can simplify the process and help you find the perfect plan for your needs.
In this article, we’ll take you on a comprehensive journey through the various options available, discuss the benefits and eligibility requirements, and introduce the exciting new BCBSIL Medicare Supplement Plan G Plus with enhanced coverage and benefits. Read on to discover the wealth of possibilities awaiting you with BCBSIL Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans.
- BCBSIL offers Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans to help individuals manage healthcare expenses not covered by Original Medicare.
- Plan F and High Deductible Plan F are available for those eligible prior to 2020, providing comprehensive coverage including deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments.
- Enhanced coverage is offered with the new Plan G Plus, which includes preventive dental care, routine hearing exams & aids program as well as fitness access & wellness programs.
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Understanding BCBSIL Medicare Supplement Options
BCBSIL offers a variety of Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans to help you manage your healthcare expenses not covered by Medicare, including lifetime maximum benefits. These plans are categorized into standard and secure plans, each identified by letters A to N, with varying coverage options.
Secure plans offer reduced rates if you can satisfactorily answer health-related screening questions, helping you manage healthcare costs even further.
Let’s take a closer look at the different types of plans available.
Standard Medicare Supplement Plans (A-N)
There are 10 standardized Medicare Supplement plans, labeled Plan A through Plan N, each offering different levels of basic benefits to supplement your Original Medicare coverage. These plans are designed to provide various coverage options, ensuring that you can find the perfect plan to suit your individual needs and budget.
When it comes to enrolling in a Medicare Supplement plan, there are both open enrollment periods and special enrollment periods available. Premium customers can also take advantage of household discounts and wellness program discounts, allowing for even more savings on their healthcare expenses.
Secure Medicare Supplement Plans
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois offer Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans A through N, with Secure plans providing the opportunity for reduced rates. Secure plans include Plan F and High Deductible Plan F, with differing eligibility requirements and benefits. To obtain Medicare Supplement Insurance, enrollment in both Medicare Part A and Part B is required.
The Open Enrollment Period for Secure plans begins the month an individual turns 65 and is enrolled in Medicare Part B. During this period, guaranteed issue rights are in effect, allowing enrollment in any Medicare Supplement Insurance plan without health questions being posed. This ensures that you can access the coverage you need without worrying about pre-existing conditions or other health-related factors.
BCBSIL Medicare Supplement Plans - The Most Popular
The most popular BCBSIL Medicare Supplement plans are Plan F, Plan G, and Plan N.
These plans offer the most coverage for relatively low premiums. Each plan is different in both benefits and costs.
Medicare Supplement Plan F and High Deductible Plan F: Eligibility and Benefits
For those who were eligible for Medicare before 2020, Plans F and High Deductible Plan F are available options. These plans offer comprehensive coverage for beneficiaries, covering the majority of out-of-pocket costs, including deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments.
Let’s dive deeper into the benefits of Plan F and High Deductible Plan F to better understand their advantages.
Medicare Plan F Benefits
Medicare Supplement Plan F, which was available up until January 1, 2020, is a Medicare Supplement Insurance plan that provides comprehensive coverage for beneficiaries. Among its many advantages, Plan F covers the Medicare Part A deductible and coinsurance, the cost of 365 additional days of hospital care during one’s lifetime after Medicare coverage ceases, and the Medicare Part B deductible.
With Plan F, you can rest assured knowing that the majority of your out-of-pocket expenses are covered, providing you with peace of mind and financial security when it comes to your healthcare needs.
High Deductible Plan F Benefits
High Deductible Plan F is another Medicare Supplement Insurance plan option, offering the same comprehensive benefits as regular Plan F but with a reduced monthly premium. The deductible for High Deductible Plan F is $2,700 per calendar year, providing a more budget-friendly option for those who are willing to pay a higher deductible.
Once the deductible is met, High Deductible Plan F provides coverage for Medicare Part A and B coinsurance and hospital costs, additional days of hospitalization, Part A and B deductibles, and hospice care coinsurance or copayment.
Additionally, High Deductible Plan F offers coverage for international travel medical expenses, ensuring you have peace of mind even when venturing abroad.
BCBSIL Medicare Supplement Plan G
BCBSIL Medicare Supplement Plan G is a popular choice among Medicare beneficiaries seeking comprehensive coverage for their healthcare needs. This article will provide an overview of Medicare Plan G, highlighting its benefits and costs. By understanding the details of this plan, you can make an informed decision about your Medicare coverage.
What is Medicare Plan G?
Medicare Plan G is a Medigap policy offered by BCBS. It is designed to fill the gaps in Original Medicare, providing coverage for expenses like deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance. Plan G is considered one of the most comprehensive Medigap plans available, offering robust coverage and peace of mind.
Medigap Plan G Benefits:
- Coverage for Medicare Part A coinsurance and hospital costs: Plan G covers the coinsurance costs for inpatient hospital stays, including an additional 365 days of coverage after Medicare benefits are exhausted.
- Coverage for Medicare Part B coinsurance or copayments: Plan G pays for the remaining 20% of Medicare-approved services that Part B doesn’t cover.
- Coverage for skilled nursing facility care coinsurance: If you require skilled nursing facility care, Plan G covers the coinsurance costs associated with it.
- Coverage for Part A deductible: Plan G covers the deductible for Medicare Part A, which is the amount you must pay before Medicare starts covering your hospital stays.
- Coverage for Part B excess charges: Plan G covers any excess charges that healthcare providers may impose over Medicare’s approved amount for services, providing you with financial protection.
- Coverage for foreign travel emergencies: Plan G offers coverage for emergency medical care during travel outside of the United States, an invaluable benefit for those who frequently travel or live abroad.
The Cost of Medicare Plan G
The cost of Medicare Plan G can vary based on several factors, including your location, age, and the insurance provider you choose. BCBS offers competitive rates for Plan G, but it’s advisable to compare prices and services from different insurance companies to find the best option for your needs.
Keep in mind that although Plan G may have a higher premium compared to other plans, its comprehensive coverage often offsets the cost, providing greater financial security in the long run.
Introducing BCBSIL Medicare Supplement Plan G Plus: Enhanced Coverage and Benefits
For those seeking additional benefits and coverage options, BCBSIL introduces Plan G Plus, an innovative Medicare Supplement Insurance plan that includes coverage for preventive and restorative dental care, routine hearing exams, and a hearing aid program.
BCBSIL Medicare Plan G Plus offers the same benefits as Standard Plan G Plus, with the added advantage of cost savings by agreeing to use a network of providers.
Let’s explore the additional benefits offered by Plan G Plus, including dental, vision, hearing, and fitness access and wellness programs.
Dental, Vision, and Hearing Benefits
While traditional Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans do not typically provide coverage for dental, vision, or hearing benefits, BCBSIL Medicare Plan G Plus offers supplemental coverage for these essential services. This additional coverage ensures that you can maintain your overall health and well-being by addressing the full spectrum of your healthcare needs.
From preventive dental care to routine vision and hearing exams, Plan G Plus goes above and beyond to provide comprehensive coverage that supports your health and wellness journey.
Fitness Access and Wellness Programs
Medicare Plan G Plus includes fitness access and wellness programs designed to promote a healthy lifestyle and support your overall well-being. These programs offer flexible gym network options and access to numerous workouts and live classes, including cardio, boot camps, barre, nutrition, yoga, and stress management.
To enroll in these fitness access and wellness programs, members can log in to Blue Access for Members and select the Fitness Program in the Quick Links menu. Taking advantage of these programs can not only improve your physical health but also contribute to your mental and emotional well-being as you navigate the world of healthcare.
BCBSIL Medicare Supplement Plan N
BCBS (Blue Cross Blue Shield) Medicare Supplement Plan N is a popular choice for Medicare beneficiaries looking for comprehensive coverage at an affordable price. In this article, we will delve into the details of Medicare Plan N, highlighting its benefits and costs. By understanding this plan, you can make an informed decision about your Medicare coverage.
What is Medicare Plan N?
Medicare Plan N is a Medigap policy offered by BCBS. It is designed to bridge the gaps in Original Medicare coverage, providing additional benefits and reducing out-of-pocket costs. Plan N offers a balance between coverage and affordability, making it an attractive option for many individuals.
Medigap Plan N Benefits:
- Coverage for Medicare Part A coinsurance and hospital costs: Plan N covers the coinsurance costs associated with inpatient hospital stays, including an additional 365 days of coverage after Medicare benefits are exhausted.
- Coverage for Medicare Part B coinsurance or copayments: Plan N covers 100% of the Part B coinsurance, except for a copayment of up to $20 for office visits and up to $50 for emergency room visits.
- Coverage for Part A deductible: Plan N covers the deductible for Medicare Part A, which is the amount you must pay before Medicare starts covering your hospital stays.
- Coverage for skilled nursing facility care coinsurance: If you require skilled nursing facility care, Plan N covers the coinsurance costs associated with it.
- Coverage for foreign travel emergencies: Plan N provides coverage for emergency medical care during travel outside of the United States, offering peace of mind for those who frequently travel internationally.
The Cost of Medicare Plan N: The cost of Medicare Plan N varies depending on factors such as your location, age, and the insurance provider you choose.
BCBS offers competitive rates for Plan N, making it an affordable option for many beneficiaries. While Plan N does require copayments for certain services, these out-of-pocket costs are often lower compared to other plans, making it an attractive choice for those seeking comprehensive coverage at a more affordable price.
BCBS Medicare Supplement Plan N offers comprehensive coverage while remaining affordable for Medicare beneficiaries.
With its range of benefits, including coverage for deductibles, coinsurance, and emergency care during travel, Plan N provides peace of mind and financial protection. When considering your Medicare coverage options, take into account your individual healthcare needs and budget.
Medigap Plan N may be an ideal choice for those who want comprehensive coverage at a more affordable cost.
Evaluate your options and compare prices from different insurance providers to find the best fit for your healthcare requirements.
Qualifying for Medicare Supplement Insurance
To be eligible for a Medicare Supplement Insurance policy, you must possess Medicare Part B, be 65 years of age or above (or under 65 with a disability in certain states), and reside in the state in which the plan is being offered at the time of application.
Meeting these eligibility requirements ensures that you can access the coverage you need to supplement your Original Medicare benefits.
Enrolling during the six-month open enrollment period guarantees enrollment and eliminates the need for underwriting.
This means that you can secure your Medicare Supplement Insurance policy without worrying about health-related questions or potential obstacles, providing you with the peace of mind you need when it comes to your healthcare coverage.
Enrollment Periods and Guaranteed Issue Rights
Understanding the enrollment periods and guaranteed issue rights for Medicare Supplement Insurance Secure Plans is crucial to ensuring you secure the coverage you need. The Medigap Open Enrollment Period is a 6-month period commencing when an individual is 65 years of age or older and enrolled in Medicare Part B.
Existing policyholders are eligible to enroll in a Medicare Supplement Insurance plan during the annual enrollment period, which is the month of their respective birthdays. Additionally, special enrollment periods are available for individuals who have experienced a loss of employer-sponsored coverage, relocation to a new state, or other qualifying life events.
Open Enrollment Period
The Open Enrollment Period for Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans is the six-month period commencing on the first day of the month in which you attain the age of 65 and are enrolled in Medicare Part B. During this time, you have the opportunity to enroll in any available Medicare Supplement Insurance plan without facing health-related questions or obstacles.
Illinois Senate Bill 147 offers a 45-day annual enrollment period for individuals aged 65-75 who possess a Medicare Supplement Insurance policy through Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois. This bill enables policyholders to apply for any Medicare Supplement Insurance policy with the same issuer that provides equal or lesser benefits than their current policy, ensuring that they have the flexibility to adjust their coverage as their needs change.
Special Enrollment Periods
Special Enrollment Periods (SEPs) are periods during which individuals may make alterations to their Medicare Advantage and Medicare prescription drug coverage when certain occurrences transpire in their lives, such as the loss of coverage, relocation to a new state, aging out of a parent’s plan, or having a baby.
To apply for a SEP, you must contact your Medicare Advantage or Medicare prescription drug plan and provide proof of the qualifying event. It’s important to note that failure to enroll during a SEP may result in having to wait until the next Open Enrollment Period to modify your coverage.
Being aware of the available SEPs and their associated qualifying events can ensure that you maintain the appropriate coverage throughout any changes in your life circumstances.
Premium Discounts and Savings Opportunities
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois Medicare Supplement Insurance policies offer a variety of premium discounts and savings opportunities. These discounts can range from 3.5% to 15%, depending on the insurance provider and the type of discount provided. Common discounts include household discounts, yearly payment discounts, and electronic funds transfer discounts.
Let’s take a closer look at the household and wellness program discounts available to BCBSIL policyholders.
Household discounts are available for BCBSIL Medicare Supplement Insurance policies, with discounts ranging from 3.5% up to 15%, depending on the insurance provider. You can enjoy a discounted rate for enrolling in a BCBSIL Medicare Supplement Insurance policy.
The Continue With BlueSM Discount is available to certain individuals enrolled in a Blue Cross and Blue Shield plan. Those plans must be issued in Illinois, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, or Texas within one year of the BCBSIL Medicare Supplement Insurance policy becoming effective. These discounts can help make your Medicare Supplement Insurance policy more affordable and accessible.
Wellness Program Discounts
Wellness program discounts are another way to save on your BCBSIL Medicare Supplement Insurance policy. These incentives may include premium discounts, cash rewards, gym memberships, and other benefits designed to promote healthy behaviors among policyholders.
In order to access wellness program discounts, you may need to contact your insurance plan or employer to inquire about the specific benefits available. Taking advantage of these discounts can not only save you money on your insurance premiums but also contribute to a healthier lifestyle.
Medicare Supplement plans help pay for those gaps in Medicare Part A and B, which can add up if you’re not covered.
Avoiding Part A Deductible
The Medicare Part A Deductible is an out-of-pocket expenditure required to be paid by the insured prior to the commencement of coverage for any related healthcare services. The Medicare Part A Deductible for the year 2023 is set at $1,600 per benefit period.
To avoid paying the Part A deductible, you can enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan that covers the Part A Deductible, such as a Medicare Select plan. This can help you save on out-of-pocket expenses and ensure you have the coverage you need when it comes to your healthcare.
A provider network is a group of healthcare providers, including doctors, hospitals, labs, and therapists, that have contracted with an insurance company to provide medical services to its members. Utilizing the provider network can assist you in reducing expenses related to medical services, as providers in the network have consented to accept reduced rates for services.
To locate providers within the network, you can search online or call the customer service number indicated on your insurance card. By accessing the provider network, you can ensure that you receive quality care from providers familiar with your insurance plan.
Navigating the world of Medicare Supplement Insurance may seem daunting, but with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, you have a wealth of options and resources at your disposal. From understanding the various Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans to exploring the exciting new Plan G Plus, this blog post has provided you with the knowledge and tools necessary to make informed decisions about your healthcare coverage. With a focus on comprehensive coverage, premium discounts, and innovative wellness programs, BCBSIL is committed to supporting your health and well-being every step of the way.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What are the two types of Medicare plans?
There are two types of Medicare Supplement plans: Medigap plans and Medicare Advantage plans. Medigap plans help cover out-of-pocket costs not covered by Original Medicare, while Medicare Advantage plans offer an alternative way of receiving Original Medicare coverage with additional benefits.
What Medicare Supplement covers everything?
Medicare Supplement Plan F covers 100% of the gaps in coverage that Original Medicare doesn’t pay for, including the Medicare Part B deductible.
This plan is usually more expensive than other supplements, and only those enrolled in Medicare prior to January 1st of 2020 may enroll in Plan F. For most, Plan G or Plan N is a far better option.
What is the difference between a Medicare Supplement and a PPO?
Medicare Advantage PPO plans provide access to a network of pre-selected providers, while Medicare Supplement Plans allow for greater flexibility and choice in terms of which healthcare provider you use.
This makes Medicare Supplement Plans the better choice for those who require more freedom when it comes to their care.
What is a BCBSIL Medicare Supplement?
BCBSIL Medicare Supplement is a type of Medigap plan offered by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL) that provides additional coverage to fill the gaps left by Original Medicare.
Who is eligible for BCBSIL Medicare Supplement?
Individuals who are already enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B are eligible for BCBSIL Medicare Supplement.
When can I enroll in BCBSIL Medicare Supplement?
You can enroll in BCBSIL Medicare Supplement during your Medigap Open Enrollment Period, which starts when you are 65 years old and enrolled in Medicare Part B. However, you may also be eligible for a Special Enrollment Period under certain circumstances.
What is the difference between BCBSIL Medicare Plan G and Plan N?
BCBSIL Medicare Plan G and Plan N are similar in coverage but differ in cost-sharing. Plan G offers more comprehensive coverage, including coverage for Medicare Part A and Part B deductibles and excess charges, while Plan N requires cost-sharing for certain services.
What types of coverage are included in BCBSIL Medicare Supplement plans?
BCBSIL Medicare Supplement plans cover costs such as Medicare Part A and Part B coinsurance, copayments, and deductibles, as well as coverage for excess charges.
Can I use any healthcare provider with BCBSIL Medicare Supplement?
Yes, you can choose any healthcare provider who accepts Medicare with BCBSIL Medicare Supplement.
How do I choose BCBSIL Medicare Supplement or another Medigap plan?
Consider your individual healthcare needs, budget, and preferred level of coverage. Research and compare different plans, including BCBSIL Medicare Supplement, to find the one that best suits your requirements.
Find the Right Medicare Plan for You
Finding the right Medicare plan doesn’t have to be confusing. Whether it’s a Medigap plan, or you have questions about Medicare Advantage or Medicare Part D, we can help.
Call us today at 1-888-891-0229 and one of our knowledgeable, licensed insurance agents will be happy to assist you!
Russell Noga is the CEO of Medisupps.com, an online Medicare Agency and resource center helping Medicare beneficiaries learn about Medicare, Medigap and Part D drug plans, and Medicare Advantage plans since 2009. Russell is licensed in all 50 states and has been featured as a keynote speaker, and author of several publications, along with hosting the very popular Medisupps.com Youtube channel.