Ask Terry Questions Union sponsored Medicare Advantage plan

Union sponsored Medicare Advantage plan

By Terry Savage on February 22, 2024 | Insurance & Annuities

My husband’s union switched from traditional Medicare BCBS to a Group BCBS Medicare Advantage Open Access PPO plan effective 1-1-24. The premiums are less than $150 per month and include Medical, Dental, Prescription, Hearing , a wellness plan (Silver Sneakers, MD live, etc) as well as a dedicated customer support line , a zero dollar copay and $1500 max out of pocket for dental and a prescription coverage limit of $5030. We are being assured by the union (in writing) that the plan is accepted by any Medicare provider who accepts Medicare assignment and agrees to bill BCBS and that “the union manages the plan.”

I am able to join his plan as a new enrollee in Medicare effective 3-1-24. I completed the application but am getting nervous about it not being a traditional plan. Well meaning friends are cautioning me to explore traditional Medicare instead especially now in my enrollment phase to avoid any denial or increased cost due to preexisting illness. The union has always had a great plan and I would be eligible to join at a later date. I have very few medical issues and take 1 prescription medicine. What are your thoughts on union Medicare Advantage plans? Thank you.

Terry Says

It’s difficult to predict how various Medicare Advantage plans will behave down the road. There are some excellent Advantage plans, that take their responsibility seriously. This sounds like a Medicare PPO plan. And if you want to take a chance on it, that’s fine with me.
It’s the ones who advertise on TV and are squeezing profits to do so, that worry me.

On the other hand, many hospitals are dropping their participation in Advantage plans as their judgments about patient care are being questioned by the accountants who try to save money by denying services. Read this about two hospitals in Northwest Indiana:,Advantage%20plans%20June%201%2C%20according%20to%20its%20website.



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