Blue Cross Blue Shield of ND affiliate to offer Medicare Advantage

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FARGO — NextBlue of North Dakota on Tuesday, Aug. 18, announced its entry into the state’s Medicare Advantage market. A Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota affiliate, the new insurance company begins enrollment this fall for the 2021 Medicare Advantage plan year.

Medicare Advantage, also known as Medicare Part C, combines traditional Medicare — parts A and B — into one plan along with additional benefits. Plans often include coverage for prescription drugs, routine vision and eye-wear coverage, dental coverage, hearing aids, fitness center memberships, over-the-counter medications/supplies and clinical support.

According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Medicare Advantage enrollment has doubled in the past decade, with more than one-third of Medicare beneficiaries nationwide enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan in 2020. In North Dakota, only 18% of Medicare beneficiaries are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan.

In its inaugural year, NextBlue coverage will be available to Medicare-eligible North Dakotans who reside in Burleigh, Cass, Morton, Richland and Stutsman counties. Additional counties will be added in subsequent years. Annual enrollment is available Oct. 15 through Dec. 7.

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