DURHAM, NC – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC) announced today that it is lowering rates for its 2020 Medicare Advantage (MA) plans by an average of 31 percent. In addition, all members will now have access to a $0 premium plan with prescription drug coverage. The rate decrease equals an average savings of $426 a year per member.

Several factors led to the rate reduction, including improved efforts to better manage care and reduce medical expenses, which have led to improved health outcomes for Medicare Advantage customers.   

“Our number one priority is to offer people the lowest possible price, combined with the best benefits and highest quality – and we are pleased with the progress we’ve made on Medicare Advantage over the last two years,” said John Roos, Chief Growth Officer of Blue Cross NC. “Our work across the state is paying off with our $0 premium plan that includes prescription drug coverage. We hope North Carolinians eligible for Medicare choose Blue Cross NC.”

In addition to all members seeing lower premiums in 2020, all members will also receive enhanced benefits. Most plans will have new benefits such as dental, vision, and $0 primary care copays.

On average Blue Cross NC MA plans will cost $20 less a month and provide
$20 more in benefits.

Blue Cross NC’s MA plans will continue offering no-cost gym memberships, and coverage for hearing exams and hearing aids.

Blue Cross NC is also offering a new plan in the Charlotte and Triad regions called Blue Medicare Choice that will feature Advanced Primary Care Clinics (APCs). Blue Cross NC customers engaged in care with these APCs will notice a strong focus on improving the patient experience and the quality of care. These practices will feature a significantly lower number of patients for each physician, which will allow for more time during appointments to go over health goals, coaching and resources, support from an entire care team, including behavioral health specialists, health coaches and nutritionists, and integration of services such as behavioral health, telehealth, transportation, home visits and palliative care.

This is the second year in a row that Blue Cross NC is lowering MA rates. Last year, the company lowered rates by 30 percent and expanded coverage into four new counties.

Blue Cross NC offers Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) and Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) MA plans. In 2020, the company will expand its HMO offerings into Moore County. It will expand its PPO offerings into Moore and Durham counties. 

With Blue Cross NC’s expansion, the insurer is now offering plans in 87 counties, reaching 93 percent of eligible enrollees, with a broad network of providers.  In total, Blue Cross NC MA members have access to more than 44,000 in-network providers.

Blue Cross NC currently serves more than 233,000 Medicare beneficiaries.

As always, 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 www.bluecrossnc.com/Medicare

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. 

About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina:
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina improves the health and well-being of our customers and communities by providing innovative health care products, services and information to more than 3.9 million members, including approximately 1.1 million served on behalf of other Blue Plans. Since 1933, we have worked to make North Carolina a better place to live through our support of community organizations, programs and events that promote good health. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Visit Blue Cross online at bluecrossnc.com. All other marks are the property of their respective owners.