DURHAM, N.C. – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC) announced it will again offer plans with $0 premiums for Medicare beneficiaries in its Blue Medicare Advantage service area along with extra benefits, including a 100% coverage dental plan, higher over-the-counter allowances, copay reductions, and a Part B premium reduction on its 2022 Medicare Advantage (MA) plans.
“Providing seniors with the most benefits at the lowest possible cost is a top priority for Blue Cross NC,” said Dr. Tunde Sotunde, President and CEO of Blue Cross NC. “Making our Medicare plans more robust, accessible, and affordable is just one of the ways we’re working to make health care better for all North Carolinians.”
For 2022, Blue Cross NC Medicare Advantage HMO and PPO plans were rated 4.5 out of 5 stars by Medicare, which demonstrates high performance in six different categories:
Staying healthy: screenings, tests and vaccines
Managing chronic (long-term) conditions
Plan responsiveness and care
Member complaints, problems getting services and choosing to leave the plan
Health plan customer service
How well the plan helps members use recommended and safe prescription medications
Blue Medicare Advantage Blue Cross NC’s MA plans will continue offering low or $0 primary care copays, no-cost gym memberships and coverage for hearing exams and hearing aids in 2022. Other highlights include:
More cost-savings for members:
All members will see reduced specialist copays, reduced maximum out of pocket amounts, enhanced prescription drug lists. Members with HMO Essential will see their Part B premium reduced by $600.
$0 premium plans in expanded service areas:
Every Medicare beneficiary in the Blue Medicare Advantage service area has access to a $0 premium plan with drug coverage. In 2022, Blue Cross NC has expanded its service area to include Graham County, bringing the total number of counties to 90.
Increased dental allowance:
Members on most plans will see an increased allowance of up to $2,000 at 100% coverage, for preventive and comprehensive services.
Increased over-the-counter products allowance:
A convenient card is available to members on select plans with an increased allowance, up to $400 for the year, that can be used on approved health and wellness products such as vitamins, diabetes care items and medication. The card can be used at more than 55,000 locations nationwide including Walgreens, CVS, Family Dollar, Walmart and Dollar General.
Blue Medicare Freedom PPO:
Blue Medicare Freedom PPO is a new $0 premium plan with a Part B premium plan that includes an extra benefit that reduces a member’s Medicare Part B premium by $600 per year.
Healthy Blue + Medicare Healthy Blue + Medicare, a Dual-Eligible Special Needs Plan (D-SNP), introduced in 2021, is an option for individuals eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid that makes care more accessible and more affordable. For 2022, Healthy Blue + Medicare has been greatly expanded and will be available to those who qualify for Medicare and Medicaid benefits in 90 out of the state’s 100 counties.
While clinical care is important, non-clinical factors such as access to care, transportation and nutritious food have an equally important impact on health outcomes. Healthy Blue + Medicare addresses both. Benefits for eligible members include a $0 monthly premium, $0 primary care copays and unlimited trips for members who need reliable transportation to and from doctor visits. In 2022, there are increased allowances for dental (up to $5,000), and eyewear benefits, a quarterly over-the-counter allowance which includes money for food, enhanced prescription drug lists, and free fitness tracking devices
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