Offering new benefits, including no-cost gym memberships, coverage for hearing exams, hearing aids

60 percent of seniors eligible for Medicare Advantage in NC will have access to a Blue Cross NC health and prescription drug plan for less than $24 a month

Expanding to offer plans in 86 counties with more than 41,000 in-network providers

DURHAM, NC – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC) announced today that it is lowering rates for its 2019 Medicare Advantage (MA) plans by an average of 30 percent. The rate decrease equals savings of $200 to $675 a year. This is significant, especially for low income seniors. Several factors led to the rate reduction, including improved efforts to better manage care, reduced medical expenses and improved health outcomes for Medicare Advantage customers.   

In addition to lowering rates, the company will also offer those enrolled in its MA plans access to a gym membership at no cost, and coverage for hearing exams and hearing aids.

“With all customers, our goal is to offer the lowest possible price, with the highest quality of care and best available benefits,” said Patrick Conway, President and CEO of Blue Cross NC. “Due to our efforts to better manage care and reduce costs, we’re able to cut rates, increase benefits, and expand our MA plans into new counties – all with broad network of doctors that reaches 92 percent of eligible MA members. We encourage all people new to Medicare and currently in Medicare to take a close look at Blue Cross NC Medicare Advantage Plans.”

Starting January 1, 2019, nearly 60 percent of all MA eligibles will have access to a Blue Cross NC MA and prescription drug plan for less than $24 a month. 20 percent of all eligibles will have access to a plan with a $0 monthly premium. Prices vary based on where you live and the plan you choose. To learn more, and find a plan that is right for you, visit

Blue Cross NC offers Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) and Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) MA plans. In 2019, the company will expand its PPO offerings into two new counties, Johnston and Franklin. It will expand its HMO offerings into four new counties, Burke, Rutherford, Jackson and Macon. Burke, Rutherford, Jackson and Macon counties previously had no Blue Cross NC MA offerings.

With Blue Cross NC’s expansion, the insurer is now offering plans in 86 counties, reaching 92 percent of eligible enrollees, with a broad network of providers.  In total, Blue Cross NC MA members have access to more than 41,000 in-network providers.

Blue Cross NC currently serves more than 72,000 MA members.

Unlike original Medicare plans, Blue Cross NC MA plans provide a contracted, managed care network, the security of an out-of-pocket max and optional coverage for prescription drugs, while also covering everything that traditional Medicare plans cover.