Do you or a friend have a BCBS Legacy Medicare Supplement Policy Issued by Blue Cross? These plans are expected to experience a large rate increase?

BLUE CROSS A and C Legacy Plans slated for potential large increases this summer

Michigan residents who have Medicare supplement designs A and C, otherwise known as Legacy plans, through Blue Cross of Michigan are facing big changes this summer as the company is due to announce, what might be, a substantial price increase.

Blue Cross changed their corporate organizational structure, and the company’s subsidized premium arrangement with the state of Michigan ends on August 1, 2016, hence the potential upcoming rate increase. The increase to these plans will mainly affect seniors and others who are Medicare eligible.

This week Blue Cross Blue Shield sent out a communication to Legacy customers warning of a price increase in the future. Blue Cross is still working out the details of their generous multi-million dollar Michigan Health Endowment Fund, which will assist customers with premium affordability.  Initial indications are that seniors, 65-75, will be eligible for a $40.00 per month subsidy, if they earn less than 150% of the federal poverty level.  Seniors 75 years and older will be eligible for $65.00 per month.  Disabled Medigap insureds under age 65 will be eligible for $125.00 per month.

Several years ago Blue Cross had a rate increase that raised the plan price from approximately $112 to 120 per month and many seniors felt a squeeze to their budget. BCBS released proposed rates on July 6th, which are now based on age, sex and zip code.  Some sample price increases include $188.00 more per month for disabled participants under age 65.  Increases range from about $48.00 more per month for a $65.00 year old female to about $177 more per month for an 80 year old male.

Many believe that these new rates will be in line with Blue Cross’s current Medigap plan pricing. Across the industry, these unsubsidized rates are generally higher in cost than rates currently being charged, and they increase in cost as people age. As a result of this increase, seniors may want to actively search for alternative Medicare plans during this upcoming enrollment season, which begins October 15th and ends December 7th.

At that time it’s likely that many seniors will find the rate increase inconsistent with their needs and/or their budget. They and their caregivers should plan as early as possible to investigate their options, which may include other Medigap plans or Medicare Advantage Plans, some of which may even include prescription coverage.

The Medicare Advantage Plans may be especially competitive for older individuals who are in fairly good health. In some cases, an individual could obtain both medical insurance and prescription drug coverage, otherwise known as Part D, for less than what they were paying for just the Medicare Legacy Plan.

            “Many people may want to stay with Blue Cross, because as a dominant provider of Medicare plans, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network offer many of these lower-cost alternative Medicare Advantage Plans,” says Randall Hoover of Royal Oak-based Hoover & Associates Financial Services. “Although they may consider other options, it is likely that they will be able to continue with Blue Cross throughout this transition period.”

“I strongly encourage those who have the Blue Cross Blue Shield Legacy plan to get an early start on this process, as it can be confusing, and time-consuming. Many may want to research prescription drug coverage and confirm that their doctors take these potential alternative plans.”

Talk to Randy Hoover or Beth Chaney about your options and stay ahead of this transition.

Sample Blue Cross Blue Shield Legacy Rates are below.

As submitted by Blue CRoss Blue Shield and Subject To change without Notice.

ZIP Code begins with 480-485 ZIP Code begins with 486-499
Southeast MI Rest if MI
Age Male Female Male Female
<65 $314.87 $314.87 $314.87 $314.87
65 $178.85 $170.33 $166.37 $158.45
66 $189.50 $179.62 $176.28 $167.09
67 $200.25 $188.92 $186.28 $175.74
68 $209.44 $196.66 $194.83 $182.94
69 $218.71 $204.40 $203.45 $190.14
70 $227.44 $210.59 $211.57 $195.90
71 $236.30 $216.79 $219.81 $201.66
72 $245.28 $222.98 $228.17 $207.43
73 $254.39 $229.18 $236.64 $213.19
74 $263.61 $235.37 $245.22 $218.95
75 $269.47 $238.47 $250.67 $221.83
76 $275.38 $241.56 $256.17 $224.71
77 $281.36 $244.66 $261.73 $227.59
78 $287.40 $247.76 $267.35 $230.47
79 $293.50 $250.85 $273.02 $233.35
80+ $299.66 $253.95 $278.76 $236.23

Got questions about Individual Health Insurance? Call Hoover and Associates at 248-298-4000 to speak with one of our Licensed Sales Agents.