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Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare

Christian Worstell

by Christian Worstell | Published April 29, 2021 | Reviewed by John Krahnert

Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) is among the leading health insurance carriers in the U.S. and provides a wide selection of Medicare Supplement Insurance (also called Medigap) plans. 

Medicare Supplement Insurance plans can help cover of the out-of-pocket expenses that Original Medicare (Part A and B) doesn’t cover. These costs can include deductibles, coinsurance, copayments and more. 

About Blue Cross Blue Shield

The History of BCBS

BCBS was founded in 1929 and strives to help provide high-quality and affordable health care to all Americans.1

Dallas public school teachers and loggers and miners in the Pacific Northwest were among the first groups to enjoy coverage by the companies that would later become BCBS.

In 1966, BCBS companies were the first and only insurers in the nation who had the ability to administer Medicare, which had just been signed into law. That year, BCBS processed claims for close to 5 million Medicare beneficiaries.

BCBS Companies

Today, 36 different locally operated BCBS health insurance companies administer coverage to Americans in all 50 states, as well 5 million federal employees, retirees and their beneficiaries.2 

Insurance companies that partner with BCBS offer plans directly to consumers and to small businesses, large companies, labor unions and federal employees.

BCBS also creates and shares regular reports to inform community health industry leaders regarding data points that can help them more accurately make decisions. This can help them provide lasting, efficient and quality care and help improve the access to health care for millions of Americans.

2021 BCBS Medicare Plans

There are 10 standardized Medigap plans available in most states. You can use the Medigap plans comparison chart below to see the standardized benefits offered by each type of plan.

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Medicare Supplement Benefits

Part A coinsurance and hospital coverage

Part B coinsurance or copayment

Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment

First 3 pints of blood

Skilled nursing facility coinsurance

Part A deductible

Part B deductible

Part B excess charges

Foreign travel emergency

Medicare Supplement Benefits A B C* D F1* G1 K2 L3 M N4
Part A coinsurance and hospital coverage
Part B coinsurance or copayment 50% 75%
Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment 50% 75%
First 3 pints of blood 50% 75%
Skilled nursing facility coinsurance 50% 75%
Part A deductible 50% 75% 50%
Part B deductible
Part B excess charges
Foreign travel emergency 80% 80% 80% 80% 80% 80%

* Plan F and Plan C are not available to Medicare beneficiaries who became eligible for Medicare on or after January 1, 2020. If you became eligible for Medicare before 2020, you may still be able to enroll in Plan F or Plan C as long as they are available in your area.

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1 Plans F and G offer high-deductible plans that each have an annual deductible of $2,490 in 2022. Once the annual deductible is met, the plan pays 100% of covered services for the rest of the year. The high-deductible Plan F is not available to new beneficiaries who became eligible for Medicare on or after January 1, 2020.

2 Plan K has an out-of-pocket yearly limit of $6,620 in 2022. After you pay the out-of-pocket yearly limit and yearly Part B deductible, it pays 100% of covered services for the rest of the calendar year.

3 Plan L has an out-of-pocket yearly limit of $3,310 in 2022. After you pay the out-of-pocket yearly limit and yearly Part B deductible, it pays 100% of covered services for the rest of the calendar year.

4 Plan N pays 100% of the Part B coinsurance, except for a copayment of up to $20 for some office visits and up to $50 copayment for emergency room visits that don’t result in an inpatient admission.

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Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare Supplement Benefits

Depending on where you live, your local BCBS company may offer one of the following Medicare Supplement Insurance plans in 2021.

  • Medigap Plan F
    Medigap Plan F is the most popular Medicare Supplement plan, and it is the only plan to offer all nine of the standardized Medigap benefits. If you have Medigap Plan F, you won’t have to pay any out-of-pocket Medicare costs for covered services.

    Depending on where you live, your local BCBS company may also offer a high-deductible Plan F option.

    Medigap Plan F will no longer be available to new Medicare beneficiaries who became eligible for Medicare on or after January 1, 2020. If you were eligible for Medicare before Jan. 1, 2020, you may be able to enroll in Medigap Plan F after that date, as long  as it is available where you live.

    If you currently have Medigap Plan F, you can keep it, even after 2020.

  • Medigap Plan G
    Plan G offers all of the same benefits as Plan F except for Medicare Part B deductible coverage. 

    The Medicare Part B deductible is $203 per year in 2021. Once you meet your Part B deductible, your Plan G coverage would be the same as Medigap Plan F.

    In 2018, Medicare Supplement Insurance beneficiaries who had Plan G paid an average premium of $122 per month. Medigap Plan F beneficiaries in the same year paid an average premium of $169 per month.3

    That’s a difference of $564 in premiums for the year, which is far more than the $203 Part B deductible. This means that Plan G could potentially be a better value for Medicare beneficiaries, even if they meet their Part B deductible.

  • Plan N
    Plan N offers the same benefits as Plan G, except for Part B excess charges coverage. As long as you visit health care providers who accept Medicare assignment, you will not likely have to pay Part B excess charges.

    If you have Plan N, you may have to pay a $20 for some doctor’s office visits and a $50 copayment for emergency room visits that don’t result in inpatient hospital admission.

BCBS Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C) Plans

Medicare Advantage plans replace Original Medicare and offer all of the same benefits that Part A and Part B offer. Many Medicare Advantage plans also offer prescription drug coverage, and some plans offer additional benefits that can include:

  • Dental care

  • Hearing aids and vision care services

  • Health and wellness programs

Depending on where you live, a local BCBS company may offer Medicare Advantage plans in your area.

Medicare Supplement Insurance and Medicare Advantage are not the same thing. You cannot have a Medicare Supplement plan and a Medicare Advantage plan at the same time.

2021 Medigap Eligibility

In order to enroll in a BCBS Medicare Supplement Insurance plan, you must be enrolled in both Medicare Part A and Part B and reside in the area in which the desired plan is sold. 

If you are under 65 years old and qualify for Medicare because of a disability, you may be able to purchase a Medigap plan. Not all states require insurance companies to offer plans to beneficiaries under 65, however.

Where Can I Get Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare Supplement Plans?

Depending on where you live, you may be able to apply for a BCBS Medicare Supplement Insurance plan.

The following BCBS companies sell Medigap plans in these states in 2021:

State BCBS Companies
Alabama Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama
Alaska Premera Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alaska
Arizona Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona
Arkansas Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield
California Anthem Blue Cross
Blue Shield of California
Colorado Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Colorado
Connecticut Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Connecticut
Delaware Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware
Florida Florida Blue
Georgia Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia
Hawaii Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Hawaii
Idaho Blue Cross of Idaho
Regence BlueShield of Idaho
Illinois Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois
Indiana Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Indiana
Iowa Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield
Kansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas
Kentucky Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Kentucky
Louisiana Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana
Maine Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Maine
Maryland CareFirst Blue Cross Blue Shield
Massachusetts Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts
Michigan Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Michigan
Minnesota Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota
Mississippi Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Mississippi
Missouri Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Missouri
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City
Montana Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana
Nebraska Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska
Nevada Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Nevada
New Hampshire Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield New Hampshire
New Jersey Horizon Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Jersey
New Mexico Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico
New York Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield
BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York
BlueShield of Northeastern New York
Excellus BlueCross BlueShield
North Carolina Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina
North Dakota Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Dakota
Ohio Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Ohio
Oklahoma Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma
Oregon Regence BlueCross BlueShield
Pennsylvania Capital BlueCross
Highmark Blue Shield
Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield
Independence Blue Cross
Rhode Island Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Rhode Island
South Carolina Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Carolina
South Dakota Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield
Tennessee BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee
Texas Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas
Utah Regence BlueCross BlueShield
Vermont Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont
Virginia Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Virginia
CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield
Washington Premera Blue Cross
Regence BlueShield
West Virginia Highmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield West Virginia
Wisconsin Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Wisconsin
Wyoming Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Wyoming

How to Enroll in a Blue Cross Blue Shield Medigap Plan in 2021

The best time to enroll in Medicare Supplement Insurance is during your Medigap Open Enrollment Period. During this time, you will have guaranteed issue rights, which means insurance companies are not allowed to use medical underwriting to determine your rates. 

You may still apply for a plan after your open enrollment period has ended, but you may be subject to medical underwriting.

Find Medicare Supplement Plans Where You Live

Call today to speak with a licensed insurance agent who can help you compare 2021 Medigap plans that are available where you live.

Compare Medigap plans in your area.

Find a plan

Or call now to speak with a licensed insurance agent:

1-800-995-4219

1 An Industry Pioneer. BCBS. Retrieved Aug. 2019 from www.bcbs.com/about-us/insustry-pioneer.

2 BCBS Companies and Licensees. BCBS. Retrieved Aug. 2019 from www.bcbs.com/bcbs-companies-and-licensees.

3 TZ Insurance Solutions LLC internal sales data, 2019. This data is based on the Medicare Supplement Insurance policies TZ Insurance Solutions LLC has sold. It is not a comprehensive national average of all available Medicare Supplement Insurance plan premiums.

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