Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan adds University of Michigan Health System to new Medicare Advantage PPO network

December 30, 2009

DETROIT - Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan has added the University of Michigan Health System to its growing network of Medicare Plus Blue℠ PPO providers. The move gives seniors who purchase the competitively priced plan access to all of the U-M hospitals and approximately 2,200 providers.

The inclusion of the U-M Health System in the Blues' new Medicare Advantage PPO plan represents a key piece in a network that now includes nearly all acute-care hospitals in Michigan. Other recent key additions include Scheurer Hospital in Huron County and all four MidMichigan Health hospitals and ancillary services.

"The University of Michigan is one of the premier hospitals and a very important network of providers for us to have in our PPO product," said Julie Maier, manager, Senior Markets. "We're working hard to make sure that our PPO network is comprehensive so people have broad access to care."

The Medicare Plus Blue℠ PPO, announced in October, has lower premiums than Original Medicare plus a Part D prescription drug plan and supplementary coverage while retaining worldwide coverage for emergency care. It also provides services that aren't available in Original Medicare or Medicare Supplemental plans.

The new plan currently has a network of 23,000 physicians and 136 hospitals in 75 of Michigan's 83 counties. Depending upon region, premiums will cost between $61 and $141 a month, compared to $183 per month for the BCBSM Medicare Supplemental (Medigap) Plan C product combined with a standalone Part D prescription drug benefit from the Blues.

Some benefits covered in the PPO product not covered by Original Medicare or Medicare Supplemental are:

  • Preventive dental services
  • Routine physicals
  • Expanded home infusion therapy
  • Prescription drug coverage
  • Total body skin exams
  • Care management tools and resources through BlueHealthConnection® that help members navigate the complexities of our health care system and support them in regaining or maintaining their health independence.

Open enrollment for the Medicare Plus Blue PPO begins Jan. 1 and goes through March 31.

"We really want to encourage those people who made their decision not to purchase a PPO to look at it again," Maier said. "They're going to get a solid benefit plan, they're going to get a comprehensive network, including now the U of M, and the prices are very competitive."

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit organization, provides and administers health benefits to 4.7 million members residing in Michigan in addition to members of Michigan-headquartered groups who reside outside the state. The company offers a broad variety of plans including: Traditional Blue Cross Blue Shield; Blue Preferred®, Community Blue℠ and Healthy Blue Incentives℠ PPOs; Blue Care Network HMO; BCN Healthy Blue Living℠; Flexible Blue℠ plans compatible with health savings accounts; Medicare Advantage; Part D Prescription Drug plans, and MyBlue℠ products in the under-age-65 individual market. The Blues also offer dental, vision and hearing plans. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network are nonprofit corporations and independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more company information, visit bcbsm.com.