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Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas Offers 2017 Open Enrollment Options in All Texas Counties

Dec. 01, 2016

Richardson, TX — Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) is the only carrier offering retail health benefit plans on the Texas Health Insurance Marketplace in every county of the state in 2017 with Blue Advantage HMOSM and Blue Advantage Plus HMOSM plans. These plans offer individuals access to a network of health care professionals and help ensure quality, cost-effective care through the selection of a primary care physician. Texas residents can visit to learn more about the health plans offered and sign up by December 15, 2016 for coverage to begin on January 1, 2017. The final day to enroll for a 2017 health insurance plan on the Texas Health Insurance Marketplace is January 31, 2017.

“We know how important these decisions are for those in our communities who need quality, affordable health care coverage,” said Esteban López, M.D., chief medical officer and Southwest Texas market president, BCBSTX. “We want to do everything we can to help provide the best access, coverage and value for our members that will allow them to meet their needs and be empowered when it comes to their health care and coverage decisions. We offer a wide range of options for quality, cost-effective coverage and encourage consumers to take advantage of the resources available online or in-person during one of our many Think Blue  events across the state.”

Plans that Meet Member Needs and Budgets

BCBSTX offers three levels of health care plans — bronze, silver and gold — for both Blue Advantage HMO and Blue Advantage Plus HMO, all including required essential health benefits.

  • Bronze-level plans will have the lowest monthly premium, but may also have the highest out-of-pocket costs. The plan typically covers 60 percent of the cost of covered services, and the member pays the remaining, approximately 40 percent.
  • Silver-level plans have a slightly higher monthly premium than bronze, but have richer benefits. In many cases, the plan pays approximately 70 percent, and the member pays approximately 30 percent. Cost sharing reductions are only available on Silver-level plans.
  • Gold-level plans have an even higher level of benefits than silver, but also a higher monthly premium. The plan pays approximately 80 percent, and the member pays approximately 20 percent.

Member premiums and out-of-pocket costs will vary depending on the health coverage options members choose. Many residents may also be eligible for federal subsidies to help offset health care costs. As of December 2015, 89 percent of on-exchange BCBSTX members received a subsidy to offset the total premium they pay. Consumers, if eligible, can calculate the estimated amount for which they may qualify, by visiting BCBSTX’s subsidy estimator, available in both English and Spanish.

Added Benefits and Conveniences

All BCBSTX health coverage includes prescription drug coverage, featuring the preferred pharmacy network, which offers benefit designs with as low as $0 co-pays and includes more than 2,000 pharmacies across the state.

In addition, BCBSTX offers a variety of programs and resources to help members get the most value from their benefits and help reduce costs, including:

  • BCBSTX Physician Extenders Program: Blue Advantage HMO and Blue Advantage Plus HMO members have the option to use an in-network physician assistant (PA) or Advanced Nurse Practitioner (ANP) as a primary care provider (PCP);
  • Retail Shopping Cart: Helps consumers compare every health insurance option that we offer, shop by price and get help to find the plan that's right for them;
  • BCBSTX Provider Finder®: Members are able to research and select an in-network provider for their needs based on location, as well as view industry-respected, third-party quality indicators, costs and patient-submitted reviews on the website;
  • A 24/7 Nurseline: Members can speak with registered nurses about health concerns, common health information and receive tips and advice on where to go to receive necessary care;
  • Blue Access for MembersSM: Provides members access to information about their policy, including status of claims, alerts, temporary ID cards and more. This also includes Blue Access MobileSM, which allow members to find a doctor, hospital or urgent care facility in addition to benefit information;
  • Lower urgent care co-pays that are the same amount as primary care provider co-pays for members who use urgent care clinics as opposed to emergency room visits, where applicable; and
  • Lower out-of-pocket costs for using a freestanding outpatient facility instead of a hospital.

For additional information about plans and resources offered during 2017 open enrollment, visit