BCBSM expands Medicare Advantage PPO plans

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Krischa Winright. Courtesy Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM) is expanding its benefits and network for Medicare Advantage preferred provider organization (PPO) plans, maintaining $0 premium plans, $0 or low deductibles and $0 doctor visits.

Seniors residing in West Michigan now will have access to care with Spectrum Health going into BCBSM’s annual enrollment period through Dec. 7, extending member access to Spectrum Health’s physician offices and 14 hospital locations in West Michigan.

Blue Cross and Blue Care Network have an existing partnership with Spectrum Health for commercial health maintenance organization (HMO) and PPO plan members, which will allow for a smooth transition to the newly expanded Medicare Advantage PPO plan network, granting members continued care with physicians with whom they’ve already established a relationship.

The expanded partnership officially launched in July.

“The expanded partnership with Spectrum not only enables us to increase access to our senior members, it provides an opportunity for continued collaboration efforts that we’re confident will further improve patient outcomes,” said Jeff Connolly, senior vice president and president of West Michigan and the Upper Peninsula for BCBSM. “When the health care community works together to better coordinate care efforts, it benefits everyone.”

Added Krischa Winright, executive vice president of senior health services at BCBSM, “plan stability and affordability are at the forefront of our mission to ensure seniors have access to the care, resources and support they need. Naturally, addressing the cost of prescription drugs and other health-related needs are critical components to achieving that mission. We’re thrilled to provide enhanced benefit options that help members save money while also getting more value out of their health care plan.”

BCSM currently offers 10 Medicare Advantage plans. Benefits will be maintained for 2022 enrollment including $0 premium Essential PPO and Prime Value HMO-POS plans, which include $0 medical deductible in most counties and $0 in-network primary care doctor visits.

Medicare Advantage plans also include features such as $0 medical and behavioral telehealth visits, $0 cost share on COVID testing and related services, $0 copay on Tier 1 preferred generic drugs and at-home help including wellness check-ins, help with grocery shopping, light housekeeping, reliable transportation to appointments and companionship for those who qualify.

Additional healthy food options, over-the-counter supplies and other eligible products can be purchased through the “Advantage Dollars” program, an in-network allowance extending to over 1,700 retail locations in Michigan allowing members to shop online, over the phone or in-person.

More information regarding Medicare Advantage plans can be found here.

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