April 2021

In case you missed it: retiring Medicare Supplement applications

2020 versions of the Medicare Supplement application are retired and as of April 1, 2021, applications submitted with the 2020 version of the Medicare Supplement application or transfer application will be “pended” until the application is updated with the 2021 version. To ensure timely processing, please use the updated 2021 applications: Access all Medicare Supplement enrollment materials here, or download and order from Storefront.

Please contact your broker manager or producer services at (800) 559-5905 for any questions. For Medicare Supplement processing questions, please email [email protected].

April 2021

Blue Shield HMO D-SNP plans for Medicare and Medi-Cal eligibles

We are offering a series of broker training webinars to bring you up to speed on our 2021 Dual Eligible Special Needs Plans – sharing insights and best practices that can help transform the way you sell and discuss Dual Eligibility, LIS and other levels. We will also provide some selling tips when working with Dual-qualified beneficiaries.

Southern California April D-SNP Training Schedule

April 2021

Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period (OEP) is over, but there are still ways to enroll your clients in a Blue Shield Medicare plan

Reminder: Medicare Supplement plans are NOT restricted to enrollment periods, so promoting Blue Shield Medicare Supplement plans is always good for business. Use the tools below to help grow your business:
  • Medicare Supplement plans are outlined in detail in our Health Plans at a Glance Brochure (e.g., plan options, covered benefits, rates, etc.) plus an overview of complimentary Blue Shield Medicare Prescription Drug Plans and dental plans for bundling sales opportunities.
  • Guaranteed Acceptance (GA) Guide – to help your clients understand if they qualify for GA based on the various situations outlined in the guide.
  • Clients can also qualify for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) to add or drop MAPD or PDP if they have experienced certain life events. Examples of a life event includes losing health coverage or moving locations, and many more.
  • Those who qualify for both Medicare and Medi-Cal can join, switch, or drop a Medicare plan one time in each of the following Special Enrollment Periods: January-March; April-June; July-September in addition to the Annual Enrollment Period.

April 2021

Important Medicare Supplement Cycle Changes for Open Plans | In-Market April 1, 2021, Effective July 1, 2021

Rate action change:

Effective July 1, 2021, the Medicare Supplement plans listed below will receive a rate action change that will only occur one time per year. The rate action change will reflect both an annual rate action and the age of the member as of July 1, 2021, if applicable.
  • Impacted plans: Open Medicare Supplement plans A, F Extra, G, G Extra, and N. This rate action change does not apply to Plan G Inspire.
  • Age Bands will also change from every two-years to one-year. It will make a smoother transition for members.
Rate Action Updates:
Effective July 1, 2021, the Medicare Supplement plans below will have a rate change.
  • Plans A, G, G Extra and G Inspire will receive a rate pass.
  • Plan F Extra will receive an average rate increase of 6% for all age bands except for the “under 65” age band.
  • Plan N will receive an average rate increase of 5% for all age bands except for the “under 65” age band.
  • “Under 65” rates for plans A, F Extra, G, G Extra, and N will receive a rate reduction.
Tools at Your Fingertips:
  • Click HERE to access the Rate Action Changes FAQ effective July 1, 2021, for Open Medicare Supplement plans.
  • Click HERE to access the current Medicare Supplement rates.
Specialty Plan Rate Changes:
Effective July 1, 2021, the Dental PPO plans below will have a rate change.
  • Dental PPO Plan 1000 – Increase from $32.10 to $35.00
  • Dental PPO Plan 1500 – Increase from $49.80 to $51.30
Withdrawal of the Specialty Duo Plan from the Market

Effective April 1, 2021 Blue Shield will no longer offer the Specialty Duo Dental + Vision package for new enrollments; as such, the plan will no longer be promoted in acquisition marketing materials.

For specialty benefit requests for new enrollments with an effective date of April 1, 2021 and later, please select one of our marketed specialty plans, the Dental PPO 1000 plan, or the Dental PPO 1500 plan.

Applications can be completed online or faxed to Blue Shield of California Medicare Installation and Membership at (844) 266-1850. Submit your applications today!

For new enrollees requesting enrollment into a Medicare Supplement plan along with the Specialty Duo Dental + Vision plan, effective dates will be assigned in accordance with guidelines governing the effective date assignment for the Medicare Supplement medical product. Please refer to the Guaranteed Acceptance Guide for a list of guaranteed acceptance situations and instructions for when to apply based on the applicable situation. Requests to add Specialty Duo Dental + Vision by an existing BSC Medicare Supplement member are assigned the first of the month following receipt of the application for the Specialty Duo Dental + Vision product and will only be accepted through February 28, 2021 and will be assigned an effective date of March 1, 2021.

PLEASE NOTE: Updated enrollment kits, removing all dental duo references, are available for order. Click HERE for enrollment kit ordering instructions. Spanish materials are available upon request. For more information, please contact your broker manager or Producer Services.

April 2021

Blue Shield can educate your clients about Medicare Supplement and guide them to the right plan

Whether they need medical care while traveling, in the comfort of their homes, or the flexibility to see any medical doctor or specialist that accepts Medicare, we may have a Medicare Supplement plan to match their need. Share this resource page with your clients to help them understand why a Medicare Supplement plan may be the right choice for them.

April 2021

Together, Blue Shield and AAA introduce Medicare Supplement Plans that offer more!

Last fall, Blue Shield of California announced its collaboration with AAA of Northern California offering new plans with innovative benefits to our senior market. Choosing a Medicare plan with the Independence and Safe Mobility with AAA benefit can help your clients lead vibrant and independent lives. Click HERE to review the Independence and Safe Mobility with AAA benefit FAQ.

REMINDER: Medicare Supplement Plan G Inspire offers all the benefits as Plan G Extra plus the Independence and Safe Mobility with AAA benefit all at the same price as Plan G Extra in the following Northern California counties:

Alameda, Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, Contra Costa, Del Norte, El Dorado, Fresno, Glenn, Humboldt, Kings, Lake, Lassen, Madera, Marin, Mariposa, Mendocino, Merced, Modoc, Mono, Monterey, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, San Benito, San Francisco, San Joaquin, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, Tuolumne, Yolo, Yuba

Encourage your clients to enroll in Medicare Supplement Plan G Inspire today!

© Blue Shield of California 2021. All rights reserved. Blue Shield of California is an independent member of the Blue Shield Association.

AAA Northern California, Nevada & Utah is independent of Blue Shield of California. © 2021 AAA Northern California, Nevada & Utah. All rights reserved.

April 2021

Our provider network sets us apart

Don't let your customers pass up a great opportunity to get a Blue Shield Medicare Advantage plan with access to one of these great providers we are highlighting! Other providers are in our network. For more information about Blue Shield Medicare Advantage plan offerings, please visit https://www.blueshieldca.com/medicare.

Join your Blue Shield of California Broker Manager and a special guest by attending a webinar to learn more about the following Southern California medical groups. View webinar dates and times below.

April 6 @ 9:00 AM to learn more about AppleCare Medicare Group. Click here to RSVP

April 21 @ 9:00 AM to learn more about QualCare IPA. Click here to RSVP

April 27 @ 10:00 AM to learn more about Allied Physicians of California IPA. Click here to RSVP

April 20th @ 11:00 AM to learn more about Beaver Medical Group. Click here to RSVP

April 13th @ 10:00 AM to learn more about Monarch Healthcare. Click here to RSVP

UCLA Health
Blue Shield of California and UCLA Health continue in a multi-year agreement that gives the nonprofit health plan’s Medicare Advantage plan members in-network access to UCLA Health providers. The agreement expands the network relationship between the two organizations so that Medicare Advantage members will also enjoy the in-network access to UCLA Health that Blue Shield of California members enrolled in its commercial plans already have been enjoying. In addition to UCLA Health, Blue Shield offers a wide-range of in-network medical providers for its Medicare Advantage plan members.

April 2021

Blue Grow your business: New LIS flyer for Duals!

Eligible beneficiaries or Blue Shield of California Medicare members who have limited income may qualify for a government program that helps pay for Medicare Part D prescription drug costs. Medicare beneficiaries receiving the low-income subsidy (LIS) get assistance in paying for their Part D monthly premium, annual deductible, coinsurance, and copayments.

LIS Flyer (English | Spanish):

Order enrollment kits online that are equipped with DocuSign to simplify the enrolling process in person or over the phone.

Access creative assets to help promote your meetings.

Access Storefront to download scope of appointments, rates and other important plan information.

April 2021

Benefit Highlight: What sets Blue Shield apart?

Hearing aids: included in select Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement plans are covered as described below (copays vary depending on the hearing aid selected).

Please view the hearing aids flyer (English | Spanish) for more information.
  • One routine hearing exam every 12 months.
  • Choice of Basic or Reserve Level hearing aid instruments, including:
    • Professional fitting, orientation, and follow-up care
    • Hearing aid styles include the following:
      • Receiver in the ear
      • Behind the ear
      • In the ear
      • In the canal
      • Completely in canal
Hearing aids are provided by EPIC Hearing Healthcare. The member must register with EPIC, either by calling (888) 370-8949 or visiting www.Blueshieldca.com/HearingAids.

Refer to the Plan Evidence of Coverage for benefit specific information.

Transportation Services

Routine transportation services (included in select Medicare Advantage plans) are provided for a $0 copay to plan-approved health-related locations below. Please view the transportation flyer (English | Spanish) for more information.
  • Physician offices
  • Hospitals
  • Pharmacies
  • Ancillary providers (e.g., lab, diagnostic radiology, dialysis)
  • Urgent care to treat a non-emergency, unforeseen medical illness, injury, or condition that requires immediate medical care

April 2021

Now available: “Medicare Enlightenment” Medicare 101 video series

We recently launched an on-demand series of informative videos to offer a safe option for anyone to learn about coverage options and the Medicare basics. The full-length video (20 minutes) is available now and we provide a separate video link for each of the seven “snackable” segments. Be sure to check them out and share with your aging-in clients who want to learn more about Medicare! Spanish versions are available as well.
  • Medicare Enlightenment – A simple way to learn all you need to know about Medicare (20 minutes)
    English      Spanish

    The path to Medicare awareness starts with getting the facts you need to understand all the options and make informed decisions. This video takes an in-depth look at the four basic parts that make up Medicare Part A, B, C, and D.
  • Different Parts of Medicare (3:05 minutes)
    English      Spanish

    Take a deep dive into the different Medicare parts: Part A, Part B, Part C, and Part D.
  • Original Medicare Parts A & B: What’s Not Covered (2:30 minutes)
    English      Spanish

    When learning about Medicare, it’s important to know what’s covered and what’s not.
  • When to enroll in Medicare (3:30 minutes)
    English      Spanish

    In this video, we’ll show you which enrollment window is yours and how to be sure you avoid any penalties for late enrollment.
  • Your Medicare Coverage Choices at a Glance (4:00 minutes)
    English      Spanish

    There are so many different combinations between Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage plans, and Medicare Supplement (Medigap) coverage. Understand what each plan is for.
  • Medicare Advantage Plans – Part C (2:30 minutes)
    English      Spanish

    Medicare Part C, also known as Medicare Advantage, is an “all-in-one” alternative to Original Medicare. In this video, you can explore some of the benefits and services in Medicare Advantage plans and better understand how this coverage may work for you.
  • Medicare Supplement Plans (3:00 minutes)
    English      Spanish

    Original Medicare pays a good portion of your health care costs, but it doesn’t cover the cost of everything. Medicare Supplement, or Medigap plans, help fill in the gaps by covering costs that Original Medicare doesn’t—like deductibles, copays, and coinsurance.
  • Prescription Drug Plans (2:45 minutes)
    English      Spanish

    Medicare Part D helps pay for generic and brand-name drugs not covered by Original Medicare. This video will show when to add Part D coverage and how to use it.

April 2021

Helpful FAQs with April training schedule

Don’t forget to connect with your members who are new to the plan, or with existing members, and check to see if they have any questions, concerns, or if one of our handy resources could be useful to them.

Blue Shield of California is committed to providing tools and resources to help our members navigate a complicated and evolving healthcare space. Broker Connection’s News and Announcements page features a collection of FAQs covering a wide array of topics. We also encourage you to attend April’s upcoming broker training sessions to receive further guidance and have any outstanding questions answered.

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