Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network Offer Seven Medicare Advantage Products for 2012

Annual Election Period for enrollment changes; Medicare beneficiaries must select a plan between Oct. 15 and Dec. 7

DETROIT, Oct. 13, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is offering three Medicare Advantage PPO products and Blue Care Network, the Blues-affiliated HMO, is offering four HMO-POS Medicare Advantage products for 2012.

This year the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services changed the Annual Election Period, shortening it by three weeks. Medicare-eligible residents must complete the enrollment process between Oct. 15 and Dec. 7, for a Jan. 1, 2012, effective date for their coverage to begin.

"Blue Cross Medicare Advantage products provide Medicare beneficiaries with a wide array of plan choices," said Mark Owen, BCBSM vice president for Federal and Individual Business.  "All of our Medicare Advantage plans provide additional benefits that Original Medicare doesn't cover, with even more benefits added this year.''

BCBSM will continue to offer three PPO products called Medicare Plus Blue PPO Assure, Signature and Vitality. BCN is offering four Medicare Advantage HMO-POS products. The BCN Advantage 2011 plans called Option 1, Option 2 and Option 3 have new names and are now called BCN Advantage Elements, Classic and Prestige. BCN will continue to offer the BCN Advantage Basic plan.

From now through early December, Blue Cross is hosting informational seminars across the state to help Medicare beneficiaries learn more about their coverage options. For the seminar dates and locations schedule or to learn more about the Blues 2012 Medicare Advantage products go to

Seniors who meet low income guidelines can receive subsidies from the state and/or federal government to help them pay for their prescription drug coverage premiums.

Medicare Advantage premiums vary by product and region.

Medicare Advantage plans offer Medicare benefits through private health insurance plans and most include Part D prescription drug coverage.  Those who purchase a Medicare Advantage plan do not need to purchase a Medigap policy nor, usually, a stand-alone Prescription Drug Plan.

Medicare Plus Blue and BCN Advantage are health plans with Medicare contracts.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network are nonprofit corporations and independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

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SOURCE Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network