Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare Supplement Review

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A.M. Best financial strength rating: bbb+ – A+ BBB rating: F to A+  NCQA average rating: 3 Consumer Affairs average rating: 4

Quick Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare Supplement Insurance plans review: Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare Supplement Insurance plans are available in every state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. However, options and customer service vary by region.

The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association has provided health care coverage since 1929. It serves 110 million members through 35 locally operated, independent companies. Blue Cross Blue Shield contracts with more physicians and hospitals — 1.7 million nationwide — than any other health insurance provider.

Blue Cross Blue Shield offers a variety of standardized Medicare Supplement plans. Pricing and extra benefits vary by region and insurer. To determine whether the type of policy you want is available in your state, search Medicare.gov or bcbs.com. Learn about the factors to consider as you choose your Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare Supplement Insurance plan.

Pros and Cons of Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans

What we like about BCBS Medicare Supplement plans: The drawbacks of BCBS Medicare Supplement plans:
  • Coverage in every state, Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico
  • The nation’s largest network of health care providers
  • BCBS has a long-standing reputation for dependability
  • Not all plan options are offered in every region
  • Some locations have a record of average or poor performance

What Do BCBS Medicare Supplement Plans Cover?

Also known as Medigap, BCBS Medicare Supplement plans work with Original Medicare Parts A and B. They help beneficiaries reduce their out-of-pocket costs by lowering or eliminating copays, coinsurance payments, and deductibles. Coverage is valid at Medicare-participating doctors and hospitals across the United States even when traveling, and plans are guaranteed to be renewable as long as you continue to pay your premiums. Medicare Supplement policies are compatible with Part D plans that can lower your prescription drug costs.

Once you are an BCBS Medicare Supplement plan member, the following services and discounts may be included, depending on your insurer and state of residence:

  • SilverSneakers (may increase your premium)
  • Same Age Forever (locks in your premium rate if you join at age 65)
  • Automatic Claims Filing
  • Dental, vision, and hearing benefits with a Plan G Plus (not available in all areas)

Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans Options

There are 10 universal Medigap policies known as plans A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M, and N, including standardized benefits and copay reductions. Plans C and F are only available to existing Medicare enrollees who became eligible for Medicare before 2020. New beneficiaries can sign up for a Medigap plan without restrictions during their seven-month initial enrollment period. Otherwise, insurers can base eligibility on your medical history. AARP Health Insurance offers six to eight Medicare Supplement plans in most geographic areas.

With the exception of Plan F, you’re responsible for paying your $233 Part B deductible (in 2022) for medical services and diagnostics. Medigap policies can reduce or eliminate your Part A hospital deductible, which can save you up to $1,556 per benefit period. Some plans may pick up excess charges beyond Medicare-approved amounts, and they can limit your out-of-pocket expenses.

Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare Supplement Insurance plan offerings and premiums depend on your region of residence, the type of plan you choose, and your age. All plans are not available in every state. Plan A provides basic coverage, while other policies cover extra benefits, including foreign travel emergency care and health and wellness club memberships.

Compare this sampling of Blue Cross Blue Shield 2022 Medicare Supplement Insurance plans offered by Anthem BCBS in Colorado:

Plan name Monthly premium† Part A hospital deductible Part B medical deductible Member responsibility for excess charges Out-of-pocket maximum
Plan A $103.32 $1,556 $233 All costs N/A
Plan G $122 $0 $233 $0 N/A
Plan N $109.56 $0 $233 Up to $20 for office visits or up to $50 for ER care N/A

*Based on pricing in Denver, CO for a 65 year old female, no tobacco use
†Rates are based on medical eligibility

Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare Supplement Insurance Reviews and Ratings

Reviews for Blue Cross Blue Shield vary among its affiliates. It’s best to research ratings for local companies.

Trusted ratings and reviews can help you understand how an insurer’s plans stack up against the competition. See how A.M. Best, the Better Business Bureau, and more rate BCBS Medicare Supplement plans.

There is a range of rating scores reported by reviewing entities, depending on which BCBS affiliate is rated. For instance, Anthem BCBS and BCBS of Michigan have different ratings. This table shows a range or average rating from a sampling of BCBS affiliates. As you compare plans available in your area, you can research ratings for the company that offers BCBS products.

A.M. Best financial strength rating: bbb+ – A+ A.M. Best is a credit rating agency that specializes in the insurance industry.

An A+ rating in this category indicates that A.M. Best believes some BCBS affiliates have a superior ability to meet their ongoing insurance obligations. A bbb+ rating indicates that some BCBS affiliates have a stable credit rating.

BBB rating: F to A+  Blue Cross Blue Shield affiliates accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) have higher ratings overall, mostly A- – A+. Affiliates that are not accredited tend to score lower, from C – F.
National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) average rating: 3 The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) only has partial Blue Cross Blue Shield data on a few states. Ratings range from 0.0 to 4.5, with an average of 3.0. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan earned its highest score, 4.5, in prevention.
Consumer Affairs average rating: 4 Consumer Affairs lists ratings for some BCBS affiliates. A few of the top rated companies with an average of 4 stars are Anthem, BCBS of Illinois, and BCBS of California based on almost 1,000 reviews.
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Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)Ⓡ

As a health care professional since 1987, Kelly Blackwell has walked alongside and cared for seniors as they journey through the season of their fourth quarter of life. Blackwell holds a Bachelor of Science in nursing from the University of Northern Colorado, a Master of Science in health care administration from Grand Canyon University, an interprofessional graduate certificate in palliative care from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus and holds a Certified Senior Advisor® credential from the Society of Certified Senior Advisors.

Blackwell contributes to the University of Colorado-Anschutz blog and has been published in “The Human Touch” distributed by the University of Colorado Center for Bioethics and Humanities. She cowrote “Dying Is” for Pathways Hospice.

A registered nurse, Blackwell understands health insurance choices influence quality of life and are driven by values, goals, and beliefs. She’s passionate about engaging with, educating, and empowering seniors as they navigate the health care system. She’s equipped to lend an experienced, compassionate voice to beneficiaries seeking information about Medicare Advantage Plans.

As a CSAⓇ, Blackwell has access to valuable resources for Medicare beneficiaries. Her work as a bedside nurse and clinical manager has given her the opportunity to see how Medicare rules, regulations, and benefits work when patients need them. With a passion to learn and to make a difference in the lives of seniors, Blackwell supports seniors through Medicare and fourth-quarter life decisions.

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