by Russell Noga | Updated September 2nd, 2023
Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare Supplement Plan Review
Are you a beneficiary of Original Medicare Parts A & B? If so, you qualify for a Medicare supplement plan (Medigap). Medigap policies come in ten different plan letters, which are:
A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M, & N.
Each letter represents a different plan, offering policyholders differing coverage levels.
Medicare is a federal government initiative, but Medigap, while regulated by the government, is sold through private insurance companies. Blue Cross Blue Shield is one of the biggest players in the Medigap market, and this post covers the company’s Medigap plans.
Blue Cross Medigap Plan G is their most popular plan, along with Plan F.
Who Is Blue Cross Blue Shield?
Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) consists of a collective of 34 independently operated companies operating under the BCBS banner. The collective has a 43% share of the US healthcare market across all its products, making it one of the biggest names in the space.
BCBS-licensed companies offer Medigap policies, including Plan N, in all 50 US states, including Massachusetts and Washington D.C. Some companies, like Anthem, offer Medigap policies in many states. At the same time, other BCBS licensees have smaller service areas.
The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association licenses independent companies, and they all operate individually. Find the BCBS agent in your area using the company’s official website.
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Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare Supplement Plans
BCBS offers beneficiaries the flexibility to switch plans whenever they want through the “Blue to Blue” program. Using this conduit to change from Plan G to Medicare Plan N might help you avoid underwriting outside the open enrollment period or make it less expensive to change your coverage or provider.
The premiums on policies from different providers under the BCBS umbrella can vary depending on which provider you use, which is why it’s a good idea to notify us first before taking any plan from BCBS. We’ll help you get the best deal on Medigap premiums in your state.
If you want the best premium rates from BCBS, you might have to agree to use the providers in your state network. Otherwise, premiums can be high if you choose to take a Medigap policy from BCBS.
Which Blue Cross Blue Shield Medigap Plan is Best?
Blue Cross Blue Shield licensees offer a wide selection of Medigap plans, but the offering can vary from licensee to licensee, depending on your state. Across the board, BCBS providers provide all ten Medigap plans, including the following options.
- Medigap Plan A — Basic coverage is included in all Medigap plans with no extras.
- Medigap Plan B — Basic coverage, plus benefits for your Medicare Part A deductible.
- Medigap Plan D — Mid-price option covering most benefits.
- Medigap Plan G — The most comprehensive coverage; only the Medciare Part B deductible isn’t covered. (Some states may also have licensees offering the high-deductible Plan G).
- Medigap Plan K — The second lowest cost option, with 50% coverage for benefits.
- Medigap Plan L — The lowest-cost option with 75% coverage for benefits.
- Medigap Plan M — Good coverage for most benefits, but only pays half the Part A deductible.
- Medigap Plan N — Low premiums, but copays apply.
Select BCBS licensees also provide Medigap Plans C & F. However, these options are only available to people eligible for Medicare before January 1, 2020.
Blue Cross Blue Shield also offers plans in Minnesota, Massachusetts, and Wisconsin, with the benefits and premiums of the plan being per each state’s independent Medigap rules, which are different from the other 47 states.
Supplemental Coverage Plans for Vision & Dental
For instance, Anthem BCBS Medigap plans come with the “Anthem Extras” package, offering beneficiaries partial coverage for services like dental procedures, cleanings, and eye exams. These benefits may also include allowances for contact lenses or glasses frames.
However, you’ll need to pay an additional fee over and above your policy premium to access these benefits.
For instance, the Anthem Extras Package providing supplemental dental and vision healthcare coverage, cost between $18 and $46 per month in cities like Atlanta, depending on the level of coverage offered in the policy.
Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare Supplement Plans 2024
There will be no changes to Medicare Supplement Plans in 2024, and Blue Cross Blue Shield will continue to offer the same lineup of Medigap plan letters and coverage.
It’s important to remember to let us help you compare the rates for Medigap insurance in 2024, as each company offers identical plans but they all charge different premiums for them.
Call us today to compare rates at 1-888-891-0229.
How Much Does a Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare Supplement Cost?
Since BCBS licensees are independent operators, they can set their own rates for their plans. As a result, it’s hard to nail down a consistent premium cost in all markets across the United States. However, we looked at three major cities in the US to compare prices offered by Anthem BCBS.
Atlanta residents can expect to pay the nationwide average for Plan G & N policies. Los Angeles is more expensive for the same plan, and Dallas is less costly for Plan G & N policies.
Plan G Average Premiums
- Atlanta: $139.
- Los Angeles: $146.
- Dallas: $121.49.
Plan N Average Premiums
- Atlanta: $148.
- Los Angeles: $143.
- Dallas: $98.86.
Discounts & Additional Benefits
Medigap plans from BCBS licensees come with additional perks and benefits for Medigap beneficiaries. You have access to the “Blue to Blue” program, which makes it easy to change policies without incurring extra costs, provided you remain in the BCBS network of companies.
There’s also the Silver Sneakers program available for gym memberships, fitness classes, and the Silver Sneakers GO app. As mentioned, the discount program provides access to additional discounts and perks for prescriptions, OTC health and wellness products, hearing services or hearing aids, and vision services and eyewear.
You also receive household discounts and discounts on your monthly premiums for setting up automatic payments on your credit card or bank account or paying an entire year’s premiums upfront.
Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare Supplement Plan Third-Party Review
BCBS has a 73 out of 100 score on the American Customer Satisfaction Index and good customer reviews, with complaints below the national average for Medigap providers. It also has an A+ (Superior) to B++ (Good) rating from AM Best, meaning it can meet member benefits.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Blue Cross Medicare supplement insurance?
Blue Cross Medicare supplement insurance, also known as Medigap, is a supplemental insurance policy offered by Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) to fill the gaps in coverage left by Original Medicare. It helps pay for certain out-of-pocket costs such as deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance.
What does Blue Cross Medicare supplement insurance cover?
The coverage provided by Blue Cross Medicare supplement insurance varies depending on the plan. However, it generally includes Medicare Part A and B coinsurance or copayments, hospice care coinsurance or copayments, and the first three pints of blood annually.
Is Blue Cross the Cheapest Medicare Supplement Plan in 2024?
Blue Cross is not known for the lowest Medigap premiums, however, they might be low in certain areas. The best way to compare rates for Medicare Supplement plans in 2024 is to use our FREE online quote engine by entering your zip code above. There you can get rates from top companies such as Allstate, Mutual of Omaha, and others.
Are Blue Cross Medicare supplement plans standardized?
Yes, Blue Cross Medicare supplement plans are standardized and labeled with letters, ranging from A to N. Each lettered plan offers the same basic benefits, regardless of the insurance company selling it. However, the premiums may differ among insurance companies.
Can I choose any healthcare provider with Blue Cross Medicare supplement insurance?
Yes, with Blue Cross Medicare supplement insurance, you have the freedom to visit any healthcare provider who accepts Medicare patients. There are no network restrictions, allowing you to choose the doctors and specialists that best suit your needs.
Does Blue Cross Medicare supplement insurance cover prescription drugs?
No, Blue Cross Medicare supplement insurance does not include prescription drug coverage. To obtain coverage for prescription medications, you will need to enroll in a separate Medicare Part D prescription drug plan.
Are there additional benefits with Blue Cross Medicare supplement insurance?
While Blue Cross Medicare supplement insurance does not typically offer additional benefits, some plans may provide additional perks such as discounts on gym memberships, vision care, or hearing aids. It’s important to review the specific plan details.
Can I switch to a different Blue Cross Medicare supplement plan?
In most cases, you can switch between Blue Cross Medicare supplement plans. However, you may need to undergo medical underwriting if you switch plans outside of your initial enrollment period or guaranteed issue rights.
How does Blue Cross Medicare supplement insurance differ from Medicare Advantage?
Blue Cross Medicare supplement insurance works alongside Original Medicare, providing additional coverage for out-of-pocket costs. In contrast, Medicare Advantage plans (Part C) are comprehensive health plans that replace Original Medicare and often include additional benefits such as prescription drug coverage and dental, vision, and hearing services.
Is Blue Cross Medicare supplement insurance available nationwide?
Yes, Blue Cross Medicare supplement insurance is available nationwide. However, the specific plan options and premiums may vary by state. It’s important to check with your local Blue Cross Blue Shield affiliate for plan availability in your area.
How can I enroll in Blue Cross Medicare supplement insurance?
To enroll in Blue Cross Medicare supplement insurance, you can contact us today at 1-888-891-0229.
We Offer a Free Consultation for Medicare Supplement Plans
If you want coverage for the out-of-pocket healthcare expenses left behind by Original Medicare, speak to us about a supplemental Medigap policy from Blue Cross Blue Shield. We’ll help you get the policy you want from a provider in your area at the lowest rates.
Call us at 1-888-891-0229 for a free consultation with one of our fully licensed agents. If you want us to call you back, fill out the contact form on this site, and we’ll get in touch with 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.