DURHAM, NC – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC) announced that it will again offer $0 premiums for Medicare beneficiaries in its Blue Medicare Advantage service area along with drug coverage and enhanced benefits for its 2021 Medicare Advantage (MA) plans.
For 2021, Blue Cross NC’s MA plans will continue offering low primary care copays, no-cost gym memberships and coverage for hearing exams and hearing aids. Those with prescription drug coverage on their plan will also see the elimination of the deductible on tier 3 drugs and an enhanced formulary.
Also, for 2021, Healthy Blue + Medicare will be available to those who qualify for Medicare and Medicaid benefits in the following 18 counties: Alamance, Buncombe, Cabarrus, Cumberland, Davidson, Davie, Durham, Forsyth, Gaston, Guilford, Harnett, Mecklenburg, Orange, Rowan, Stokes, Surry, Wake and Yadkin.
“At Blue Cross NC, we’re committed to providing seniors with the most benefits at the lowest possible cost while taking drivers of health outside the doctor’s office into consideration so that care can work for everyone,” said Dr. Tunde Sotunde, President and CEO of Blue Cross NC. “The progress we’ve made to enhance Blue Medicare Advantage over the last several years, specifically the addition of the Healthy Blue + Medicare plan, speaks to that commitment.”
Blue Cross NC Medicare Advantage HMO and PPO plans are rated 4 out of 5 stars by Medicare, which measures how well plans perform in five 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
Blue Medicare Advantage
- $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 2021, Blue Cross NC has expanded its service area to include HMO plans in Lenoir and Swain counties and a PPO offering in New Hanover county.
- Part D Senior Savings Model: Blue Cross NC will be participating in the CMS Part D Senior Savings Model offering select insulins at a $35 copay, per 30-day supply, on Blue Medicare Advantage Plans with prescription drug coverage. The Model aims to increase patient access and adherence to insulin and slow the progression of the disease, which would ultimately lead to improved patient outcomes and better quality of care.
- Post-discharge meal program: To help improve patient outcomes after an acute hospital stay, Blue Medicare Advantage members are now eligible for a post-discharge meal program tailored to members’ personal health and nutritional needs.
- Over-the-counter products allowance: A convenient debit card is available to members on select plans with a quarterly allowance that can be used on approved health and wellness products such as vitamins, diabetes care items and medication. The debit card can be used at more than 55,000 locations nationwide including Walgreens, CVS, Family Dollar, Walmart and Dollar General.
Healthy Blue + Medicare
Healthy Blue + Medicare, a Dual-Eligible Special Needs Plan (D-SNP) provides a new option for individuals eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid that makes care more accessible and more affordable.
While clinical care is important, non-clinical factors like 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, dental and eyewear benefits, a $300 per quarter over-the-counter allowance, and unlimited trips for members who need reliable transportation to and from doctor visits.
Blue Cross NC offers MA plans in 89 counties, reaching 94 percent of eligible enrollees, with a broad network of providers. In total, Blue Cross NC MA members have access to more than 49,000 in-network providers across the state.
For more information visit www.bluecrossnc.com/Medicare.
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina:
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC) is committed to making health care better, simpler and more affordable. We have been driving better health in North Carolina for generations, working to tackle our communities’ greatest health challenges. We serve our customers and communities of more than 3.8 million members, including approximately 1.1 million served on behalf of other Blue Plans. Blue Cross NC is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Visit Blue Cross NC online at www.bluecrossnc.com. All other marks are the property of their respective owners.
 How to Compare Plans Using the Medicare Star Rating System. Medicare Rights Center, 2020.