BCBSGA, Blue Cross of Georgia is dropping the Smart Value Medicare plans in many parts of Georgia, so what are your options? You can jump to another Advantage plan from BCBSGA if one exists in your area or you can return to the security of original Medicare and purchase a Medigap plan from BCBSGA or another carrier.
Picking a Medicare Advantage Plan
If you pick another Medicare Advantage plan from BCBSGA or another carrier you may be in the same boat next year, and the year after that, and the year after that.
Remember, “If you like the plan you have you can keep it”?
That is not always true. In fact, when it comes to Medicare Advantage plans it is rarely true.
Congress is making it increasingly difficult for carriers to continue offering Advantage plans which is why so many go away each year. When that happens you have to go searching for a new plan.
What fun is that?
Even if you are able to keep the BCBSGA plan you have it may not fit your needs next year. The premium will almost certainly be higher, or the benefits will be less, or both.
And your doctor may not participate in the plan next year. If that happens you shop for a new plan or a new doctor.
You Have a Guaranteeed Right to New Coverage
If your old BCBSGA Advantage plan goes away you have a GUARANTEED RIGHT to purchase a new plan regardless of your medical conditions. That’s the law.
The old BCBSGA Smart Value plans came in two flavors. The BCBSGA Smart Value Classic covers everything but prescription drugs; the Smart Value Plus covers the same items but includes a prescription drug plan.
If you opt for the security of Medicare and a Medigap plan, and you had Smart Value Plus, you will need to pick a PDP (prescription drug plan) that is TAILORED to your needs rather than a one-size-fits-all approach when the drug coverage is bulit in to the plan.
BCBSGA Medigap plan N is a good choice for replacing your Blue Cross Smart Value plan.
Medigap Plan N vs. Blue Cross Smart Value
When you pick Medigap plan N from BCBSGA or another carrier your office visit copay is $20. Emergency Room visits are $50.
With Smart Value your office visit copay was either $20 or $35. Emergency Room visits had a $50 copay.
Plan N wins.
If you go in the hospital under the BCBSGA Smart Value you pay $225 per day for the first 7 days you are hospitalized.
If you go in the hospital under Medigap plan N you pay nothing for Medicare approved charges.
If your health takes a turn for the worse, requiring numerous hospitalizations and doctor visits your out of pocket costs are capped at $5,000 with Smart Value.
If your health takes a turn for the worse, requiring numerous hospitalizations and doctor visits your out of pocket costs for Medicare approved Part A & B charges is limited to your Medicare Part B deductible of $162 (in 2011) plus $20 for each doctor visit and $50 for each ER visit.
Bob Vineyard and Georgia Medicare Plans have affordable BCBSGA Medigap rates for Medicare supplement plan N in Georgia.