Blue Cross Blue Shield for years has been one of the most recognized and well-earned brand names in America when it comes to health insurance. Since the 1930’s and found in Minnesota; Blue Cross Blue Shield is both stable and reliable when it comes to one of the largest insurance companies in our nation.
BCBS (Blue Cross Blue Shield) companies that are independently owned and operated locally in many markets throughout the United States and grouped int the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.
Currently, BCBS is offering 7 different Medigap lettered plans, A, F, G, K, L, & N with an additional version of Plan F with a higher deductible. Plans K and L Medicare supplements have a lesser amount of interest from the public but are still offered. This is more likely the result of beneficiaries who chose these plans will have to take on cost-sharing responsibilities.
A look at the 4 Medigap plans proven to have the most public interest:
Plan A supplemental insurance is known to be the most basic plan covering the most important gaps when using Medicare. These are the hospital coinsurance and hospital outpatient coinsurance. Basically, your Plan A will pay for your daily hospital copays when you have any inpatient stays lasting longer than a 60-day period. Additionally, Plan A will provide 365 days of healthcare coverage after your Medicare Part A hospital benefits have run out.
This will cover the additional 20% of Part B expenses not covered by Medicare. Pay close attention to this as its extremely important since many very expensive medical services fall under Part B. These can include surgeries, radiations, chemotherapy, or dialysis. Medicare will cover the 80% and using a Plan A with Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare Supplemental health insurance to cover the balance of 20% to have a more complete cost coverage.
Plan A is not as popular as other plans like Plan F, G, or N. This is because Plan A will not cover the additional deductibles and excess charges.
Plan F is considered one of the more complete Medigap plans on the market covering almost every gap found in Medicare Part A & Medicare Part B plans. With Plan F your out of pocket expenses are covered for any hospital and outpatient medical services. So, there are no deductibles or coinsurance that needs to be met while in the hospital to have surgery. Your doctor’s visits, ambulance rides, labwork, chemotherapy and more are also covered.
Plan F has been a top seller for decades with Blue Cross Blue shield customers allowing them to have a better sense of security buying the fullest coverage with a trusted brand.
Plan G Medigap plan is the section most popular plan in the nation covering the same items found in Plan F except for the Part B deductible.
Going to your first outpatient visit for any calendar year you have to pay the Part B deductible which is out of pocket and then your plan will work the same as a Plan f for the remainder of the year.
There are a couple reasons a lot of people are going to a Plan G over Plan F is that first you will have a lower premium, and many don’t mind paying a one time deductible for lower premiums. Then the second is the Plan G will often have lower premium rate increases year to year over the Plan F. Plan G is a great choice for many people.
Plan N first offered in 2010 is one of the newest Medigap plans offered today. With Plan N, often having lower premiums than Plan G because you will have to pay for additional copays for some of your medical services. Paying as much as $20 copays for doctor visits and as high as $50 for emergency room visits, any additional excess charges and your Part B deductible must be paid by you.
Plan N with Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare Supplement insurance works well for many beneficiaries looking for lower premiums in exchange for the additional out of pocket expenses on the back end. The offerings for Medigap plans will vary between the different states.
Blue Cross Blue Shield offers Medicare Advantage Plans to consider for those having trouble finding affordable Medigap plans in the state you live in.
Medicare Advantage plans are private Medicare insurance which will pay instead of Medicare providing the same benefits found in Parts A & B for inpatient, outpatient medical treatments.
Part D plans are included in many Advantage plans which Blue Cross Blue Shield offers in many states and will vary from state to state. Most of the states have both your HMO and PPO network options. The lowest premiums can be found in the BCBS HMO plans. This requires you use a primary care physician who will provide referrals if you need to see a specialist and must be treated within the network unless it’s an emergency.