BCBS of Michigan to Return More Than $100 million to Customers
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is planning on giving back more than $100 million to their insured customers for medical, dental and vision premiums.
The largest health insurer in Michigan made the announcement on their website The company stated that because of the disruptions in previously anticipated health care services caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, BCBS of Michigan and Blue Care Network will be returning more than $100 million to many fully insured customers this year.
BCBSM President & CEO Daniel J. Loepp said, “For 81 years, Blue Cross has stood behind our members’ care in good times and bad. We’ve been proactive in addressing the pandemic, providing no-cost benefits for members and advancing millions of dollars to care providers. Now we can return money to our customers and members.”
On the website, BCBSM gave details of the customer provided relief:
- Fully insured small group customers with 50 or fewer employees will receive a 30 percent credit on their July premium invoice. All told, BCBSM is providing about $37 million back to small group customers for their medical plans.
- Low rate adjustments for small group customers. BCBSM filed 2021 small group rates last week with state regulators that average 0.9 percent more for PPO plans and 1.9 percent more for HMO plans.
- Blue Dental and Blue Vision employer group customers will be sharing a total refund of about $10.5 million. All fully insured groups with dental and vision coverage will receive a one-month premium refund to be credited on their July invoice. BCBSM also will not increase rates for fully insured customers renewing dental and vision plans for 2021.
- Individual health plan members from 2019 will receive a one-time rebate resulting from lower than expected health care claims. Altogether, about $45 million will be paid directly to these 2019 individual plan subscribers in September. Rebates are determined based on each subscriber’s plan and premiums paid in 2019. Rebate amounts will vary by subscriber.
- Medigap (Medicare Supplement) and individual Medicare Advantage members in a plan with a premium above $0 will receive a 15 percent premium refund for the months of March and April to be applied to their July premium bill. This refund totals about $15 million to Medigap and Individual Medicare Advantage members. For Individual Medicare Advantage members this includes their Optional Supplemental Buy-up (if applicable).
In addition to those refunds, BCBSM has invested $494 million in expanding the availability of no-cost benefits for members and to support health providers in response to COVID-19.
“We are living through a time when the usual economics of health care have been upended,” Loepp said. “Hospitals have delayed elective services, and people aren’t visiting doctors’ and dentists’ offices. Thanks to the decisive leadership of our state officials and the response of our health systems, we are bending the trend of new infections – but the threat of subsequent waves of infection remains. We are being deliberate in projecting future costs given all the unknown variables. The world may return to a new normal at some point, but today, about the only thing we’re certain about is the uncertainty.”
Here are some tips for self-care during the pandemic: