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Seniors & Medicare

What does it mean to me?

Healthcare reform affects everyone differently. As Blue Cross of Idaho continues to analyze the new law, we will post relevant frequently asked questions so you can better understand what healthcare reform changes to expect. These questions and answers are informational and not the equivalent of legal advice. Consult legal and tax experts to understand how the law will affect your individual or business circumstances.

Will healthcare reform have an impact on my Medicare Advantage coverage?

The new healthcare reform law supports Medicare Advantage plans and Blue Cross of Idaho will continue to offer quality coverage for Idaho’s seniors. Your Medicare Advantage plan continues to cover all that Original Medicare covers, eliminates the Medicare deductible and replaces your coinsurance responsibility with low copayments. The legislation will not eliminate your health insurance or force you to make a change. During Medicare’s Annual Enrollment period at the end of each calendar year, you can compare plans and make a change if you prefer. However, no change is required and you can keep your current coverage.

How will the new law change my plan? When can I expect to see changes to my coverage?

Your current coverage remains the same for the rest of the year. Each year in October, we notify our Medicare Advantage members about plan changes for the coming year. This will not change. Effective in 2011, the new law requires Original Medicare to cover preventive care with no copayment, a benefit you already receive as a Blue Cross of Idaho Medicare Advantage member.

Will my premium increase?

Government funding for Medicare Advantage plans has the potential to change, but our Medicare Advantage premiums are set for a full year. So you will not see a premium increase for the remainder of the year. As mentioned above, we notify members in October each year about any premium changes for the following year. Over the past 13 years, Blue Cross of Idaho has offered consistent, affordable and dependable coverage in spite of Medicare's funding fluctuations. As always, we strive to provide stable, dependable coverage that strikes just the right balance between benefits and premiums.

What will happen with my doctor? Will I lose the access I currently have to my primary care provider?

We encourage our members to establish ongoing, collaborative relationships with their physicians by covering an annual examination with no member cost sharing. As a Blue Cross of Idaho Medicare Advantage member, you have access to one of the most extensive provider networks in the state and there’s a good chance your doctor is in our network. We will also help you find a provider in your community, if needed.

How will the new law change my Part D prescription coverage?

As with your medical coverage, we expect no changes to Part D coverage for the rest of the year. From now until 2020, you will see prescription drug discounts for brand-name medications once you reach the gap. These discounts will continue to increase yearly until the gap closes completely.