PlanGPlus.com

Helping Illinois Residents Find Better Coverage.

The Future of Medicare Supplement Plans

Plan G Plus

by Blue Cross Blue Shield

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Save on Healthcare Expenses.

What is Plan G Plus?

Plan G Plus (Plan G+) is a new Medicare Supplement offering from Blue Cross and Blue Shield® in Illinois.

Starting April 1, 2021, the new Plan G Plus will be available to medicare eligible individuals in Illinois.

new benefits:

2 cleanings, 2 exams, 1 X-ray per year, 50% of basic restorative services, 75% of non-surgical extractions (in-network)

$0 annual exam, discounts on rechargeable and battery-operated hearing aids

$0 annual exam, $130 in-network eyewear allowance, $65 out-of-network eyewear allowance

nurses available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year to help with health concerns and give general health tips

unlimited access to over 16,000 fitness centers in the national network

Covering most of what Medicare does not

Medicare was never intended to pay everything. This is why most folks purchase a Medicare Supplement. Plan G Plus covers most of what Medicare does not as long as it is approved. Copayments for hospitalizations and skilled nursing facility stays are covered. After the Part B deductible is paid, Plan G Plus pays for medical expenses such as doctor’s visits, physical therapy, and diagnostic tests, as well as excess charges above Medicare approved amounts.

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24/7 Nurseline

Nurses are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. They can help with health concerns and give general health tips. Get trusted guidance on possible emergency care, urgent care and more. You can also access an audio library of more than 1,000 health topics ranging from allergies to women’s health. More than 600 topics are available in Spanish.

When should you call 24/7 Nurseline?

Call when you have questions about health problems, such as:

  • Asthma,
  • back pain, 
  • chronic health problems 
  • Cuts or burns
  • Dizziness or severe headache
  • High fever
  • Sore throat

SilverSneakers®† Fitness Program

SilverSneakers is a fitness program for seniors and includes unlimited access to over 16,000 fitness centers in the national network. Membership offers a welcoming community where you can have fitness fun with friends and meet new people.

SilverSneakers benefits include:

  • Specialized fitness classes designed for people of all abilities and led by certified instructors
  • Low-impact classes focused on improving strength and endurance, mobility, flexibility, agility and coordination 
  • FLEX classes like yoga and dance at parks, recreation centers and clubs

Is it worth it?

It’s reasonable to assume that you can save between $785 – $1,729 per year if you utilize all the extra benefits.

The cost difference between a standardized BCBS Plan G and Plan G Plus is $22.22 per month¹ or $266.64 per year.

  • Plan G: $120.18
  • Plan G Plus: $142.40

So, is it worth it? When comparing the prices from a BCBS Plan G to its Plan G Plus counterpart, yes – it is. You could save between $518.36-$1,462.36 per year if you utilize all the extra benefits.

Here’s how we came up with our estimated value of the innovative benefits in the BCBS Plan G Plus:

  • Average cost of dental exam³: $60-$120 (benefit includes two per year)
  • Average cost of dental cleaning⁴: $75-$400 (benefit includes two per year)
  • Average cost of bitewing dental x-rays⁵: $50-$100
  • Average cost of hearing exam⁶: $125
  • Average cost of vision exam⁷: $100-$200
  • Comparative cost for 24/7 access to a nurse hotline⁸: $75 per visit
  • Comparative cost for SilverSneakers® Fitness Program⁹: $35-$59
  • $130 in-network eyewear allowance, $65 out-of-network eyewear allowance

It’s difficult to put a price estimate on the restorative services and non-surgical extractions, covered at 50% and 75%, respectively (in-network). We’ll just consider that a cherry on top if the benefit is used.

Additionally, the discounts on rechargeable and battery-operated hearing aids are difficult to put a number on, so we’ll exclude it from our savings average.

Overall, the innovative benefits included with Plan G Plus are valued at $785-$1,729 per year.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Plan G Plus hearing benefits include an annual hearing exam and discounts on hearing aids.

Plan G Plus dental benefits include cleanings, exams and an X-ray.

Plan G Plus includes access to the SilverSneakers fitness program

No. You may continue to see your doctor. If your doctor accepts Medicare, your Medicare Supplement plan will be accepted.

Yes. If you see any specialist who accepts Medicare, your Medicare Supplement plan will be accepted.

No. You are not required to pay anything at the time of service. Your claims are processed through Medicare and electronically sent to us for payment.

Yes, to update our records and ensure we continue to communicate with you in a timely manner, we need to know when you move or change your phone number or name.

Disclosures

Use in-network provider to limit your out-of-pocket costs. Not connected with or endorsed by the U.S. Government or Federal Medicare Program. Dental Network of America, LLC (DNoA) is a separate company that provides dental benefits for some Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois plans. DNoA contracts with go2dental.com, Inc., an independent company that provides dental website information and tools Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois plans. TruHearing® is a registered trademark of TruHearing, Inc., which is an independent company providing discounts on hearing aids. EyeMed Vision Care, LLC, an independent company, provides customer service and network administration services for BCBSIL. BCBSIL has contracted with First American Administrators (FAA), an independent company, to provide claims administration. The relationship between BCBSIL, FAA, and EyeMed is that of independent contractors. Blue365 is a discount program only for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL) members. This is NOT insurance. Some of the services offered through this program may be covered under your health plan. Members should check their benefit booklet or call the Customer Service number on the back of their ID card for specific benefit facts. Use of Blue365 does not change monthly payments, nor do costs of the services or products count toward any maximums and/or plan deductibles. Discounts are only given through vendors that take part in this program. BCBSIL does not guarantee or make any claims or recommendations about the program’s services or products. Members should consult their doctor before using these services and products. BCBSIL reserves the right to stop or change this program at any time without notice. The relationship between the Blue365 vendors and BCBSIL is that of independent contractors. BCBSIL makes no endorsement, representations or warranties regarding any products or services they offer. Blue Cross®, Blue Shield® and the Cross and Shield Symbols are registered service marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans. SilverSneakers® is a wellness program owned and operated by Tivity Health, Inc., an independent company. Tivity Health and SilverSneakers® are registered trademarks or trademarks of Tivity Health, Inc., and/or its subsidiaries and/or affiliates in the USA and/or other countries. Medicare Supplement insurance plans are offered by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, a Division of Health Care Service Corporation, a Mutual Legal Reserve Company, an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

Resources:

Statistics provided by: https://blog.newhorizonsmktg.com/plan-g-plus-agent-guide-new-med-supp-with-innovative-benefits

¹65-year-old female in Macon County, Illinois, effective date 4/1/2021 with no HHD and non-tobacco. Quotes are from BCBS IL/TX/NM/OK only.

²65-year-old female in Macon County, Illinois, effective date 4/1/2021 with no HHD and non-tobacco. Most competitive premium is from ManhattanLife Assurance Company (MAC).

³https://www.1dental.com/dental-exam/

⁴https://www.1dental.com/cleanings/

⁵https://www.sharecare.com/health/dental-oral-health-teeth/how-much-dental-xrays-cost

⁶My mother-in-law is an audiologist and confirmed the cost with no insurance.

⁷I recently had a vision exam and the cost breakdown without insurance was as follows: $99 for a healthy vision exam, $60 for the contact lens evaluation, $39 for retinal photography (optional).

⁸The closest comparison we could find is a service called Teladoc, which is free with many insurances. If you don’t have insurance, the cost is $75 per visit (or call).

⁹Without SilverSneakers®, you’d probably select a gym and purchase a membership. We price-checked three popular gyms in the SIlverSneakers® network: YMCA ($44/mo), Curves ($59/mo), and Snap Fitness ($34.95/mo). Our comparative cost doesn’t include any initiation fees.

¹⁰$29.58 for an Aetna lump sum Cancer Insurance plan, 65-year-old with a $10,000 benefit.

¹¹Most competitive Plan G premium plus a KSKJ final expense policy with a $10,000 death benefit, 65-year-old female in Macon County, Illinois.