Blue Shield of California has announced an underwriting holiday for their Medicare Supplement Plan F Extra and Plan G Extra from December 1, 2019, through February 15, 2020. During this time period, current Blue Shield Medicare Supplement members AND members from other carriers can enroll in Blue Shield of California’s Plan F Extra and Plan G Extra without underwriting approval. In other words, applicants will not have to answer the “Statement of Health” questions on the application.
Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period
Also covered by the underwriting holiday are Medicare Advantage members who cancel their Medicare Advantage plans during the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period. The Medicare Open Enrollment Period allows individuals who had been enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan to cancel that coverage and return to Original Medicare. The Medicare Open Enrollment Period is from January 1 – March 31, 2020.
Plan F Extra
Plan F Extra covers all of the deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance not covered by Original Medicare. These Original Medicare beneficiary cost-sharing expenses include the
- Part A: hospital deductible and copayments and skilled nursing facility care copayment for days 21 through 100.
- Part B: medical deductible and 20% coinsurance for medical services.
Extras in the Plan F Extra
- Foreign travel medically necessary emergency healthcare up to $50,000 after a $250 deductible
- Basic gym access through Silver Sneakers
- Personal Emergency Response System with monthly monitoring
- Hearing aid examination every 12 months at $0 cost, the choice of two different types of hearing aids with batteries and support services
- Vision services including $20 copay for eye exams, $100 frame allowance, and lenses subject to certain copayments
Please refer to the Blue Shield Medicare Supplement summary of benefits for more details. Plan F Extra open only to Medicare beneficiaries who turned 65 before January 1, 2020 or first became eligible for Medicare benefits due to disability before January 1, 2020.
Plan G Extra
Plan G Extra covers all the same Medicare cost-sharing EXCEPT those services subject to the Part B deductible. In 2020, the Part B deductible will be $198. After the Part B deductible is met, most services have a member coinsurance of 20%, which Plan G then covers completely. Plan G Extra includes all the extra services for foreign travel, gym membership, personal emergency response system, hearing and vision benefits as Plan F Extra.
Plan G Extra is open to all Medicare beneficiaries for enrollment regardless of when they turned 65 or acquired Original Medicare eligibility.
- The Blue Shield underwriting holiday is only available from December 1, 2019 through February 15, 2020.
- The latest effective date is May 1, 2020.
- The underwriting holiday only applies to enrollment into Plan F Extra and Plan G Extra
- An applicant must currently be enrolled in any carrier’s Medicare Supplement plan OR
- Be a Medicare Advantage member who has elected to cancel their Medicare Advantage membership and return to Original Medicare during the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment period.
The underwriting holiday only excludes the Statement of Health questionnaire, other conditions may prohibit enrollment. For example, Mary, may have cancelled her Medicare Advantage plan during the Medicare Open Enrollment. Mary suffers from rheumatoid arthritis. With the underwriting holiday, she does not have to answer the Statement of Health questions, one of which is if she has rheumatoid arthritis.
Without the underwriting holiday – or guaranteed acceptance – answering Yes to some of the Statement of Health questions can result in either a higher monthly rate or denial of enrollment. Mary doesn’t have to worry about those questions because of the underwriting holiday.
To get a quote for Plan F Extra or Plan G Extra, click on the Blue Shield link below. When applying for either of the two plans online, in response to the question regarding your situation for guaranteed acceptance enter GA-17. On the paper application it would be Holiday Underwriting.
If you need help applying online, with a paper application, or have other questions about this Blue Shield underwriting holiday, please contact me using my contact page or call 916-521-7216.