Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Medicare Plans Review
Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is one of the largest health benefits providers in the U.S. and offers Medicare plans in a number of states through its affiliated companies. Learn about Anthem BCBS Medicare plans, what they may offer and how to compare plans available where you live.
Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is part of the Anthem family of brands, and they offer Medicare plans and other health insurance products in a number of states. A Medicare plan from a Blue Cross Blue Shield company is backed by a brand that is among the biggest carriers in the insurance business.
Below is a review of Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare plans, including the types of plans the company sells, what they cover and in which states you can find them.
Anthem is one of the largest health benefit companies in the U.S. and delivers a variety of insurance solutions to states across the country. Headquartered in Indianapolis, Anthem has accumulated many recent awards and accolades.
Depending on where you live, you may have one or several types of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Medicare plans to choose from, such as Medicare Advantage, Medicare Part D and/or Medicare Supplement plans. The chart below outlines the Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies that offer plans in each state.
For Medicare beneficiaries looking to get a little more from their coverage, a Medicare Advantage plan can offer just that. Anthem’s Medicare Advantage plans include all of the same benefits found in Medicare Part A and Part B (also called Original Medicare), while many Medicare Advantage plans also offer additional coverage for things like dental and vision care, hearing aids, memberships to fitness programs, prescription drugs and even non-prescription over-the-counter products like cold medicine and pain relievers.
Plan benefits can vary from one location to another, so it’s good to check out the plans that are available where you live to find out exactly what benefits are offered.
Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield offers several types of Medicare Advantage plans, and some or all of these types of plans may be available where you live.
Anthem Medicare HMO Plans
Anthem’s Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) plan utilizes a primary care physician to coordinate your care within the Anthem network of health care providers and make referrals to specialists. Anthem HMO premiums and deductibles can be as low as $0 per month.
Anthem Medicare PPO Plans
A Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plan from Anthem still utilizes a primary care physician for check-ups but plan members are free to seek additional care including specialist visits at their own will. You can even receive care outside of the Anthem network and often still receive at least partial coverage, though you will typically pay lower out-of-pocket costs by visiting in-network doctors and providers. Some plans may feature $0 deductibles.
Anthem Medicare Special Needs Plans (SNPs)
A Special Needs Plan (SNP) is a type of Medicare Advantage plan that is specially designed for people with certain medical conditions (Chronic Condition SNPs) or for those who qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid (Dual Eligible SNP, or D-SNP).
The availability and selection of Anthem’s Medicare Advantage plans will vary by county and state. You can use the Anthem Medicare plan finder tool to view the plans that may be available for purchase in your area.
Original Medicare does not typically cover prescription drugs. Many Medicare beneficiaries choose to get their Medicare drug coverage by enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan that includes drug coverage or by enrolling in a standalone Medicare Part D plan (PDP). Part D plans provide coverage for prescription medications and may be paired with Medicare Part A and Part B or with a Medicare Advantage plan that doesn’t include drug coverage.
Drugs are typically categorized into different tiers on the plan formulary – or list of covered drugs – with common generic drugs in the lowest tier and specialty brand name drugs usually in the highest tier. Drugs in lower tiers can have copayments as low as $0 with an Anthem plan. Anthem Part D plans also include a Medication Therapy Management (MTM) program for members who take multiple prescriptions.
You may use Anthem’s online Medicare Part D plan search directory to see if and how a particular drug is covered by the company’s Part D plans.
Plan availability and selection can vary by location, but Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield offers Medicare Part D plans that may be used at more than 66,000 pharmacy locations including 24,000 Anthem preferred pharmacies that can offer even bigger savings.
Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) helps pay for Original Medicare deductibles, coinsurance, copayments and other out-of-pocket expenses. Anthem’s Medigap plans are accepted by any health care provider who accepts Medicare Part A and Part B.
The chart below outlines each type of standardized Medigap plan and the types of Medicare costs they each cover.
|Medicare Supplement Benefits||A||B||C1||D||F1||G||K||L||M||N|
|Part A coinsurance and hospital costs||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Part B coinsurance or copayment||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||50%||75%||✓||✓|
|First 3 pints of blood||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||50%||75%||✓||✓|
|Part A hospice care co-insurance or co-payment||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||50%||75%||✓||✓|
|Co-insurance for skilled nursing facility||✓||✓||✓||✓||50%||75%||✓||✓|
|Medicare Part A deductible||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||50%||75%||50%||✓|
|Medicare Part B deductible||✓||✓|
|Medicare Part B excess charges||✓||✓|
|Foreign travel emergency||80%||80%||80%||80%||80%||80%|
|1. Plans C and F are not available to new beneficiaries who became eligible for Medicare on or after January 1, 2020.
2. Plans F and G also offer a high deductible plan which has an annual deductible of $2,370 in 2021. Once the annual deductible is met, the plan pays 100% of covered services for the rest of the year. The high deductible Plan F is not available to new beneficiaries who became eligible for Medicare on or after January 1, 2020.
3. Plan K has an out-of-pocket yearly limit of $6,220 in 2021. Plan L has an out-of-pocket yearly limit of $3,110 in 2021.
4. Plan N pays 100% of the Part B coinsurance, except for a copayment of up to $20 for some office visits and up to $50 for emergency room visits that don’t result in an inpatient admission.
View an image version of this table.
The availability of Anthem’s plans will vary by location, but the company sells Medicare Supplement Plan A, Plan G and Plan N in most states.
Anthem Medicare Supplement Plan A
Medigap Plan A provides coverage for:
- Medicare Part A coinsurance and hospital costs
- Medicare Part B coinsurance and copayments
- The first three pints of blood used during a blood transfusion
- Medicare Part A hospice care coinsurance and copayments
Anthem Medicare Supplement Plan G
Plan G is among the more popular Medigap plans because of its comprehensive coverage. The plan covers everything found in Plan A, plus:
- Skilled nursing facility care coinsurance costs
- Medicare Part A deductible
- Medicare Part B excess charges
- Foreign travel emergency care
Anthem Medicare Supplement Plan N
Plan N covers everything found under Plan G with the exception of Medicare Part B excess charges. Plan N may feature lower monthly premiums in some areas due partly to the required copays for certain doctor’s office visits and emergency room visits that don’t result in inpatient hospital admission.
Anthem Medicare Supplement Plan F
Medigap Plan F may be available from Anthem in certain areas. Plan F is the only Medigap plan to provide coverage in all 1Medigap 0 benefits areas. It covers everything found under Plan G in addition to coverage of the Medicare Part B deductible.
However, federal law mandates that Plan F is not available to anyone who first became eligible for Medicare on or after January 1, 2020. If you became eligible for Medicare before 2020, you may still be able to enroll in Plan F if it’s available where you live.
Every year, Medicare evaluates plans based on a 5-star rating system. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) rates all Medicare Advantage and Part D plans and the plan carriers that provide them on the 5-point scale using various quality criteria.
In 2021, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield earned an overall 4 Star Rating from Medicare on the 5-star scale.1 Anthem Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plans in some parts of the country earned a 5 Star Rating.
Many of Anthem’s Medicare Advantage plans provide coverage for vision care. Anthem vision care under a Medicare Advantage plan can include eye exams, eyeglasses and contact lenses.
Anthem also offers supplemental vision packages in select markets that may be paired with a Medicare plan that offer similar vision benefits.
Some of Anthem’s Medicare Advantage plans include coverage for dental care that can consist of exams, cleanings, X-rays, fillings and more.
Anthem also offers supplemental dental packages that are separate from its Medicare plans but offer many of the same benefits.
Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield members can create an online Medicare account to view claims, pay bills, print I.D. cards, chat with a representative and more. Anthem even has a mobile app for even easier on-the-go access.
If you’re interested in speaking with a licensed sales agent about Medicare plans that may be available in your area, you can call 1-855-949-3321 (TTY: 711).
1 Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield - H3655 2021 Medicare Star Ratings. https://static.ehealthmedicareplans.com/ehealthinsurance/benefits/2021/ma/anthembluecrossandblueshield/H3655_034_000_SR.pdf.