As Healthcare.gov improves, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan encourages consumers to use free government money to reduce plan premiums
For coverage effective Jan. 1, consumers must select an ACA compliant plan by Dec. 23
Dec. 12, 2013
DETROIT –– Over the past week, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan has monitored the progress of healthcare.gov and has seen encouraging evidence that the site is working better, signifying important progress at a critical time for Michigan consumers. In order to have active coverage beginning Jan. 1, consumers need to select a health insurance plan by Dec. 23. To help them do that –– and to understand whether they qualify for a government subsidy –– Blue Cross has developed a set of tools, including:
- Enroll directly through BCBSM: Consumers who have already started an application on healthcare.gov can complete the process by calling 855-892-8089 and speaking with a BCBSM health plan advisor seven days a week, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., or they can visit bcbsm.com/myblue at any time.
- Text 4 Subsidy: By texting “4subsidy” to 222-752, consumers can initiate a back and forth exchange, detailing their eligibility. Normal data plan charges will apply. The consumer will be asked to provide their zip code, age, income and number of dependents. Blue Cross will respond with whether or not they are eligible for a subsidy. Those not subsidy eligible can call Blue Cross directly or visit bcbsm.com/myblue to enroll.
- Walk in Centers: The Blues have re-focused its 10 welcome centers statewide to help consumers understand and navigate the changes in health insurance. Consumers can talk directly with a health plan advisor or licensed Blue Cross agent, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., to determine the best plan for their specific situation, and ensure that each form is completed correctly to take advantage of any available federal assistance.
“We encourage people to explore their eligibility for subsidies,” said Terry Burke, vice president for individual business at BCBSM. “Subsidies and tax credits are available to many people in Michigan –– even larger families earning six-figure incomes. Subsidies can be used to buy ACA-compliant health insurance plans that provide more comprehensive coverage, with preventive services and prescription drugs covered. Ignoring subsidy eligibility is like leaving free money on the table to buy better health insurance coverage.
“Our direct enrollment application lets consumers complete the enrollment process in a Blue plan on BCBSM.com without having to go to healthcare.gov,” said Terry Burke, vice president of individual business for BCBSM. “Our health plan advisors make it easy to determine subsidy eligibility, understand the plan options, and can apply the awarded subsidy if consumers decide to enroll in a BCBSM plan. We want people to pick plans that are affordable, that provide the right benefits, and take advantage of free government money to reduce premium costs.”
The following are examples of the tremendous impact subsidies can have on premiums in four major Michigan counties:
BCBSM Bronze Plan Offering Subsidy Estimates
|County||40 year old, no subsidy||40 year old w/subsidy (based on income of $28,725/year)||60 year old, no subsidy||60 year old w/subsidy (based on income of $28,725/year)|
|Wayne (Detroit)||$187 - $237||$156 - $205||$397 - $503||$114 - $219|
|Kent (Grand Rapids)||$154 - $224||$93 - $163||$328 - $477||$0 - $129|
|Ingham (Lansing)||$189 - $237||$113 - $161||$402 - $503||$23 - $124|
|Grand Traverse (Traverse City)||$185 - $206||$35 - $56||$394 - $437||$0|
BCBSM is the only health insurance company to offer ACA-compliant health plans in all 83 Michigan counties. For more information on ACA compliant plans or health care reform, contact the BCBSM Newsroom.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is a nonprofit corporation and independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more information, visit www.bcbsm.com and www.mibluesperspectives.com.