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Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare Advantage plans and supplemental insurance help beneficiaries cover out-of-pocket expenses not covered by Original Medicare (Part A and Part B). Read more about these plans here.

By Serah Gallo
Updated June 7, 2020

Key Takeaways:

  • Anyone who is eligible to enroll or is enrolled in Original Medicare is eligible to enroll in a Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare Advantage plan or a Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare Supplement plan.

  • Depending on location, a large majority of Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare plans cover Part D.

  • Under Blue Cross Blue Shield, you can enroll in Medicare Supplement plans A, F, G, K, L and N.

  • While benefit coverage of Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare Supplement plans is the same from state to state, costs vary.

Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare Plans in 2020

Blue Cross Blue Shield offers Medicare Advantage plans and Medicare Supplemental insurance that are affordable and help cover out-of-pocket expenses not otherwise covered under Original Medicare (Part A and Part B).

Blue Cross Blue Shield was established in 1929 and works with several United States-based independent health insurance companies. Blue Cross Blue Shield has a higher contract percentage than any other health care insurer. Close to 95% of doctors, hospitals and other health specialists are contracted under Blue Cross Blue Shield. This high percentage makes Blue Cross Blue Shield accessible to nearly everyone who enrolls with an insurer covered under the umbrella company.

Who is Eligible to Enroll in a Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare Advantage Plan or Medicare Supplement Plan?

Anyone who is eligible to enroll or is enrolled in Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) is eligible to enroll in a Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare Advantage plan or a Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare Supplement plan.

What are Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare Advantage Plans?

Available in many states, Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare Advantage plans offer a private insurance option to beneficiaries of Medicare. These Advantage plans are especially important due to the rising cost of Medicare Part B.

Depending on location, a large majority of Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare plans cover Part D or Medicare prescription drug coverage. While also offering Original Medicare and Part D, these plans offer flexibility not found in other Medicare plans. While out-of-network costs are higher than in-network costs, you still have the option to see an out-of-network doctor through Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare Advantage.

What Costs Do Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare Advantage Plans Cover?

The same benefits that are covered by Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) are covered by Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare Advantage plans.

What is the Difference Between a Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare Advantage HMO and PPO Plan?

Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare Advantage plans offer patients the choice between Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) plans and Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plans. Here are some of the differences between the two plan types.

Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) Plans

  • Offer out-of-network coverage

  • Available state or nationwide

  • No referral is necessary to see a specialist

  • Fairly easy to use

  • Are affordable

  • May offer vision coverage

  • Prescription coverage may be an option

  • Costs related to hearing may be covered

  • Dental may be an option

Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) Plans

  • Lower out-of-pocket costs compared to a PPO

  • Lower copayments than a PPO

  • Lower copayments than offered through a PPO

  • Smaller in network

  • No out-of-network coverage

What are Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare Supplement Plans?

Also known as Medigap plans, Blue Cross Blue Shield offers Medicare Supplemental insurance plans. These Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare Supplement plans assist in covering costs related to Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) that beneficiaries otherwise have to pay for out of pocket.

In addition to paying your Medicare Part B premium, you will be required to pay a low monthly premium when you purchase a Medicare Supplement plan. In exchange you will pay nothing or much less for the following:

  • Copays

  • Coinsurance

  • Deductibles

Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare Supplement plan availability varies from state to state. While availability may vary, Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare Supplement plans are regulated by state governments, as well as the federal government. This regulation means that benefits remain the same, regardless of the insurance company offering the coverage.

What Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare Supplement plans are available?

Under Blue Cross Blue Shield, numerous Medicare Supplement plans are available. These plans include Plan A, F, G, K, L, and Plan N.

What Do the Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare Supplement Plans Cover?

Medicare Plan A

  • Standardized, basic benefits are covered

  • Everything else must be paid out of pocket

Medicare Plan F

  • Most comprehensive plan

  • Limited availability going into 2020

  • Covers everything Original Medicare does not

  • No deductibles or coinsurance for hospital stays

  • No payments required for surgery, lab work, doctor's visits, cancer treatments or ambulance rides

  • It was a top seller before being limited

Medicare Plan G

  • The most popular plan behind plan F

  • Covers everything plan F does except the deductible included with Part B

  • Low premiums and low yearly rate increases

Medicare Plan K

  • Less popular plan

  • Covers certain costs 100%

    • All Medicare Part A costs associated with hospital coinsurance costs, including an added 365 days after Medicare benefits have been exhausted

    • Preventative care coinsurance associated with Medicare Part B

    • Out-of-country costs up to a set limit

  • Costs covered at 50%

    • Medicare Part A deductible costs

    • Part A copay or coinsurance costs related to hospice care

    • The initial 3 pints of blood used during a medical procedure

    • Coinsurance for skilled nursing facility care

    • Part B copay or coinsurance costs

Medicare Plan L

  • Like Plan K, Plan L is a less popular plan

  • Covers certain costs 100%

    • Coinsurance and hospital costs that are associated with Part A, as well as an additional 365 days following the end of Medicare benefits coverage

  • Costs covered at 75%

    • Coinsurance costs related to Part B

    • Part B coinsurance costs

    • Coinsurance for skilled nursing facility care

    • First three pints of blood used during a medical procedure

    • Medicare Part A deductible costs

    • Medicare Part A hospice care coinsurance costs

Medicare Plan N

  • Medigap's newest plan

  • Low premiums

  • Covers some medical services and copay, while others require out-of-pocket payment

  • Part B deductible must be paid with this plan

What are the Costs of Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare Supplement Plans?

While benefit coverage of Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare Supplement plans is the same from state to state, costs vary. These costs depend on location, and the insurance company offering the benefits plan. The costs of Blue Cross Blue Shield Supplement plans also vary depending on plan rating and what each plan covers.

Serah Gallo is a healthcare and finance writer with almost 10 years of professional writing experience.