by Russell Noga | Updated November 24th, 2023
If you rely on Medicare for your health insurance, you may be considering investing in Medicare Supplement Insurance to help offset the costs that the government-sponsored health insurance program doesn’t cover. When it comes to Medicare Supplement Insurance, there are a lot of factors to consider, and choosing the right insurer is one of the most important decisions you’ll need to make.
Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield is one of the biggest providers of Medicare Supplement Insurance plans in the United States. To help you make the most informed decision – for both your healthcare and your finances – we’ve put together this guide that highlights pertinent information about Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare Supplement Insurance so you can decide if it’s the right option for you.
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About Medicare Supplement Insurance
Also known as Medigap, Medicare Supplement Insurance is health insurance that is designed to supplement the coverage that Original Medicare provides. Original Medicare is divided into two parts: Part A and Part B. Part A covers medical care and services provided in inpatient settings, such as hospitals, hospices, or skilled nursing facilities, and Part B, covers medical care and services provided in outpatient settings, such as doctor appointments, preventative care, and durable medical equipment. Original Medicare does cover a lot, it doesn’t cover everything, and the expenses that it doesn’t cover, you, the beneficiary, are responsible for; copays, coinsurance, and deductibles, for example. That’s where Medicare Supplement Insurance can help.
Sold by private health insurance companies, Medigap policies are designed to fill in the gaps in Original Medicare. There are 10 standardized plans, which are named for letters, and while benefits vary from plan to plan, they’re designed to cover some or all of the expenses that aren’t covered by Medicare Part A and Part B. It should be noted that Medigap policies are designed to work alongside Original Medicare, not replace it; moreover, these plans cannot be used with Medicare Advantage. You must be enrolled in both parts of Original Medicare to qualify for Medicare Supplement Insurance.
About Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield
A subsidiary of Anthem, Inc., Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield is one of the largest health insurance companies in the United States. Founded in New York, the company has a large presence in the state’s health insurance market; however, it is also available in other states, such as Connecticut, Colorado, Kentucky, Virginia, Georgia, Indiana, Maine, New Hampshire, Ohio, Missouri, and Wisconsin.
Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield offers several health insurance products, including Medicare Supplement Insurance plans. In fact, it’s one of the largest providers of Medigap plans in the country, with millions of Americans relying on the policies the insurer provides to supplement the out-of-pocket expenses that are associated with Original Medicare. The insurance company consistently receives high ratings for offering reliable insurance, affordable rates, and quality Medicare Supplement Insurance plans.
What Medicare Supplement Plans Does Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield Offer?
As stated above, there are 10 Medicare Supplement Insurance plans, and Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield offers several options, including the following:
- Medigap Plan A. This plan covers basic out-of-pocket expenses, such as the first three pints of blood for medically necessary procedures and coinsurance for hospital and hospice care.
- Medigap Plan F. Of all the Medicare Supplement policies, Plan F is the most inclusive. It covers the same expenses as Plan A, as well as coverage for the Part A and Part B deductible, Part B excess charges, and even emergency medical care while traveling overseas. It’s important to note that while Plan F offers the most comprehensive coverage, it is only available to individuals who became eligible for Medicare before January 1, 2020.
- Medigap Plan G. Plan G is considered a replacement for Plan F, as it’s available to all Medicare beneficiaries, regardless of when they became eligible for Medicare benefits. Except for the Part B deductible, Plan G also covers the same expenses as Plan F. In 2023, the Part B deductible was $226.
- Medigap Plan K. Plan K covers 100 percent of preventative care and services and 50 percent of Part A coinsurance and the first three pints of blood required for medically necessary procedures.
- Medigap Plan L. Plan L is similar to Plan K; however, it covers 75 percent of Part A coinsurance and blood transfusions.
- Medigap Plan N. Plan N is considered a lower cost option, as the monthly premiums are lower; however, in exchange for low monthly premiums, you’ll need to cover Part B copays, which can cost up to $20 per office visit and up to $50 per emergency room visit (ER fee is waived if you are admitted to the hospital).
How Much Does Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield Medigap Insurance Cost?
Like all insurers that offer Medicare Supplement Insurance, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield sets its own rates. Costs are based on a variety of factors, including:
To ensure the best rates, the ideal time to apply for Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare Supplement Insurance is during the Medigap Open Enrollment period. During this period, which starts on the first day of the month you turn 65 and lasts for 6 months, your application cannot be subjected to medical underwriting; that is, the insurer cannot consider your current health status or your medical history. As such, you are guaranteed acceptance and your premiums will be lower. If you wait until after the Open Enrollment period, your application can be subjected to medical underwriting and if you have health conditions, your premiums may be higher or your application may be rejected.
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Contact Us for a Free Consultation on Medigap Plans
If you have questions about Medicare Supplement plans, call our team at 1-888-891-0229. We offer professional advice on Medigap policies. Our fully licensed agents offer free consultations to give you all the information you need about Medigap. If you want someone to call you back, leave your details on our contact form, and we’ll get a Medigap expert to reach out to you.
Russell Noga is the CEO and Medicare editor of Medisupps.com. His 15 years of experience in the Medicare insurance market includes being a licensed Medicare insurance broker in all 50 states. He is frequently featured as a featured as a keynote Medicare event speaker, has authored hundreds of Medicare content pages, and hosts the very popular Medisupps.com Medicare Youtube channel. His expertise includes Medicare, Medigap insurance, Medicare Advantage plans, and Medicare Part D.