Anthem Blue Cross Takes The Lead For 2011 Medicare Plans

With the recent CMS suspensions of Aetna, Health Net, Universal American (otherwise known as Today’s Options), and Arcadian many Medicare beneficiaries are trending towards the Blue Cross and Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare supplement and advantage plans throughout most of the Nation.

Wellpoint who is the parent company of Anthem Blue Cross, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia, Empire Blue Cross of NY and Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield of NY to name a few came into 2011 with a very competetive portfolio of plans and was well positioned to take a large share of the Medicare Advantage market also revamped their Medicare Supplement rates to become more competetive than in past years.

While having minor compliance difficulties in past years, Wellpoint came out ready for the 2011 season with efficiency and incredible organizational improvements and looks like it is going to be another profitable year.

With Medicare Advantage plans offering extra value added benefits such as the popular “Silver Sneakers” fitness program, preventative dental, vision allowances, and even hearing benefits the Blue Cross plans for 2011 have something for everyone.

Even more important than the value added benefits are the reasonable co-pays, large networks and low out of pocket maximums. With the many PFFS plans dissapearing this year Wellpoint has not missed a beat replacing them with the very popular PPO plans which allow members to use Doctors and Providers In OR Out of Network giving the patient more freedom of choice these popular plans are called Freedom Blue which is a very appropriate description.

Although these Blue Cross plans have very large networks it is always quite re-assuring that you can keep ALL of your doctors and providers which makes everything a lot easier. Anthem, Anthem of California and Empire Blue Cross and Blue Cross Blue Shield have also implemented a very convenient online shop and enroll tool for those who are computer savvy. If you’re not so comfortable online simply request an enrollment kit and you will have one at your doorstep in just a few short days.

To request materials or shop online visit www.bluecrossmedicare.org or www.bluecrossmedicare.net

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California Medicare Advantage And Supplement Plans For 2011

The Annual Election Period (AEP) is upon us again and 2011 brings many changes. Many companies have pulled out of the market while others have expanded and moved into more areas. There are some good deals to be found if you are a smart shopper.

In many California counties there are very few Medicare Advantage plans to choose from and this can drive prices up. If this is the case in your County, you may want to consider purchasing a Medicare Supplement plan along with a stand alone Part D drug policy.

Anthem Blue Cross of California is offering HMO and PPO plans for 2011. The  HMO plans will be available in heavily populated Counties in Southern California whil the PPO plans will be offered in all California Counties. These plans are very competetive and offer a robust benefit package.

Many people ask us which Medicare plan is the best. There is no single answer to this question. Each person has specific or unique needs and therefore should choose a plan to suit their particular situation although there are a few basic tips to follow.

If you are planning on traveling or would like a greater freedom of choice in medical providers you will probably want a PPO plan. If you stay near home most of the time you may get a better deal with an HMO

You will save money if you choose a plan with a large network or if most of your doctors are in network providers.

You are usually better off with a specific dollar amount for a co-pay rather than a percentage.

You can usually get good information from a broker representing multiple companies rather than calling each single company individually.

If you are looking for some factual information or a qualified Medicare insurance advisor try one of the links listed below.

www.californiamedicareplans.net

www.californiamedicare.org

www.californiamedicareadvantage.org