Premera Blue Cross Medicare Advantage Plans

  • Premera Blue Cross offers four Medicare Advantage plans in Snohomish, King, Pierce, Thurston, and Spokane counties for Medicare-eligible individuals who have Medicare Parts A and B and are:

    • Age 65 or older
    • Under age 65 who have certain disabilities
    • Current residents of Snohomish, King, Pierce, Thurston, or Spokane County

    Premera Blue Cross Medicare Advantage plans offer your patients Medicare benefits — plus extra benefits for prescriptions and fitness programs — all in one easy-to-use plan. Medicare open enrollment occurs October 15 through December 7 every year. 

    For more information about participating with Premera while caring for your Medicare Advantage patients, please see our Provider Reference Manual.

  • Visit the Premera Blue Cross Medicare Advantage member site to find out more about Pharmacy Services, including our Medication Therapy Management Program.

    Premera Blue Cross Medicare Advantage Plan: Promoting Safe Medication Use in Older Adults 

    Premera created a provider network in Snohomish, King, Pierce, Thurston, and Spokane counties that specifically supports our Medicare Advantage Plans.

    Find a complete listing of Premera Blue Cross Medicare Advantage providers, hospitals, and pharmacies using our Find a Doctor Tool.

    Find a Doctor Tool  

    Network Information Regarding Premera Blue Cross Medicare Advantage Members on HMO vs. HMO-POS Plans 

    HMO Members: 

    HMO plan members do not have out-of-network benefits, except for emergency or urgently needed services. If they see an out-of-network provider for a non-urgent or emergent need, they may be responsible for the full cost of their care.

    HMO-POS Members: 

    HMO-POS plan members can see any provider who accepts Medicare. However, members have a higher cost share if they receive care outside of the plan’s Medicare Advantage network. Providers who are not contracted with Premera Blue Cross Medicare Advantage can bill Premera Blue Cross directly.

    Because Medicare has strict federal regulations for administering these plans, we offer the following educational webinars for providers.

    About Premera Blue Cross Medicare Advantage Plans 

    Clear Coverage

    Medicare Advantage Risk Adjustment and Coding (March. 4, 2015) - The most current version of Internet Explorer, Firefox, or Google Chrome is needed to view

    Program overview, including key learnings from 2014 and changes for 2015

    Your patients can visit the Medicare Advantage member website to find more information about our plans, including:

    • Choosing, Comparing Plans
    • Medicare Basics
    • Enrollment, Benefits and Coverage
    • Providers and Service Area
    • Pharmacy Services
    • Discounts and Extras, like SilverSneakers®
  • Care Management Program

  • Premera Blue Cross Medicare Advantage Plans Care Management Programs

    Premera’s care management programs help improve the health and quality of life of our members and support your medical treatment plans.

    Once enrolled, members receive: 

    • Condition-specific information, education, and support
    • Referrals to community and national resources
    • Telephone consultations from registered nurses, encouraging patients to take an active role managing chronic conditions or complex healthcare needs
    • Educational materials and access to local wellness classes

    You’ll receive regular updates on your patient’s progress in the program.

    Enroll by phone or fax 

    Enrolling in our care management program is easy. Your patients can enroll on their own or can get assistance by phone (with you or a registered nurse). You can also fax the Care Management Referral Form found on the Premera Medicare Advantage website to 855-339-9713. 

    Care management programs support the following conditions:

    Disease Management 

    • Asthma
    • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
    • Coronary artery disease
    • Heart failure
    • Diabetes

    Care Management 

    • Cancer
    • End-stage renal failure
    • Adult complex

    Auto-Immune Disorders 

    • Rheumatoid arthritis
    • Lupus

    Neurological Disorders 

    • Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy
    • Myasthenia gravis
    • Multiple sclerosis
    • Parkinson’s disease

    Hereditary Conditions 

    • Cystic fibrosis
    • Gaucher’s disease
    • Hemophilia

    Chronic Inflammatory Conditions 

    • Inflammatory bowel disease
    • Scleroderma

    Additional support provided for: 

    • Care coordination
    • Pain management
    • Transition of care
    • Transplant services

    Patient Support 

    • Educational material(s) mailed to patient’s home
    • Personal, ongoing phone conversations with a registered nurse
    • Health questions answered by phone
    • Condition self-management
    • Monitoring of preventive health issues and relevant medical test results
    • Support for lifestyle issues, comorbidities, and medication management
    • Access to health and wellness classes

    Premera Blue Cross Medicare Advantage Plans Annual Wellness Visits: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    We encourage you to schedule your Premera Blue Cross Medicare Advantage Plan patients for enhanced annual wellness visits. This Medicare benefit is free for your patients and is an opportunity for you to have a discussion with your patients about any health concerns they may have. It is also a time when your patients can have questions answered about their health.

    1. What is an enhanced annual wellness visit?
    2. The enhanced annual wellness visit is an opportunity for you to meet with your patients to assess their chronic conditions and overall health and wellness. This is a free visit for your patients and is part of their preventive benefits. During the enhanced wellness visit, it is important to address the following:

      • Current chronic conditions, ongoing treatment plans
      • Screenings for high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, heart disease
      • Medications
      • Preventive treatments for colon and other cancers, glaucoma, and osteoporosis
      • Lab work, as needed
      • BMI calculation, urinary incontinence, fall risk, and physical and mental health assessments

      Because the enhanced annual wellness visit includes a routine physical, the patient doesn’t have to come in twice for essentially the same type of visit.

      We also request that you perform a "condition-pertinent" exam. For example, if the patient has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, then listen to the patient’s lungs. If the patient has diabetes mellitus, check the patient’s feet. And, for patients with multiple issues, cover areas relevant to those conditions. We also request that you perform a “condition-pertinent” exam. For example, if the patient has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, then listen to the patient’s lungs. If the patient has diabetes mellitus, check the patient’s feet. And, for patients with multiple issues, cover areas relevant to those conditions./p>

    3. How do I bill for an enhanced annual wellness visit? 
    4. Submit a claim with G0438/G0439 through your normal claims submission process. If you complete a chronic condition assessment for two or more conditions, include S0250 in addition to the G code. To receive payment, please fax supporting chart notes to 855-348-9135.

    5. What needs to be done to qualify for billing the S code? 
    6. To qualify for billing the S code, you must document and assess at least two chronic conditions, including management, evaluation, assessment, and treatment.

    7. Do I need to fax a chart note to Premera? 
    8. Yes, for each enhanced annual wellness visit, we need a copy of the chart note faxed to 855-348-9135. Premera will pay the enhanced rate if a chronic condition assessment is done. Alternative options for chart note submission are available, such as remote EMR access, FTP sites, or secure email. Please call your provider network executive if those options work better for you.

    9. What does Premera do with the patient chart note? 
    10. We’re required to retain records that support the codes billed. We’ll submit the chart note to Medicare in case of a Risk Adjustment Data Validation Audit.

    11. Does Premera allow an evaluation and management (E&M) visit with an enhanced annual wellness visit?
    12. We do not allow an E&M visit with the G0438/G0439. We do allow S0250 for the chronic condition assessment, which adds an additional 3.0 RVU to the visit. If you bill an additional E&M code, the visit is no longer free for the patient. This often causes confusion in the Medicare population; Premera wants to ensure that the visit is free for our members.

      If you feel there are conditions that need additional treatment, you’ll need to schedule a follow-up visit on another day.

    13. How much does the enhanced annual wellness visit pay?
    14. The enhanced annual wellness visit pays at the following rate:

      New Patient Enhanced annual wellness visit G0438
      (4.85 RVU) 
      Enhanced annual wellness visit and
      chronic conditions reviewed >2 assessed
      G0438
      S0250 and
      (7.85 RVU) 
      Established Patient Enhanced annual wellness visit G0439
      (3.28 RVU) 
      Enhanced annual wellness visit, and
      chronic conditions reviewed, >2 assessed
      G0429 and
      S0250
      (6.28 RVU) 

      (A standard physical 99397 pays at 3.82 RVU.)

    15. Can the patient also have a physical in addition to the enhanced annual wellness visit? 
    16. The Premera enhanced annual wellness visit already includes a routine physical.

    17. Does Premera have a template for the annual wellness visit?  
    18. Yes. You can download a pre-populated template (either a one-page summary or full version) via onehealthport.com for each patient, based on the information we currently have available. The template includes:

      • Known chronic conditions
      • Medications
      • Recent procedures
      • Additional treating providers
    19. Can the provider bill the G0438 or G0439 on one day, and then bring the patient back to for a chronic conditions assessment and bill the S0250 on another day?
    20. No. The S0250 is considered an add-on code for G0438/G0439 and can’t be billed independently.

    21. Does Premera cover the G0402—the Welcome to Medicare visit? 
    22. Yes. Premera pays G0402 for initial preventive physical examination. This is a face-to-face visit and your patients are eligible to receive these services if they have recently enrolled in Medicare during the past 12 months. This is sometimes called the Welcome to Medicare visit. The S-code is not available for billing with this visit.

      Premera encourages the additional benefit of an enhanced annual wellness visit G0438/G0439 in place of G0402. If the provider does a chronic condition assessment, it is appropriate to bill S0250, which encompasses a much more comprehensive visit for the member.

    23. Who is Matrix Medical Network? 
    24. Matrix Medical Network is a group of nurse practitioners Premera has contracted with to perform annual wellness visits in the patient’s home environment or nursing facility. Each visit includes a limited physical exam, complete review of prescription and over-the-counter medications, and health history discussion. Matrix takes the time to talk to patients and identify gaps in care that can be shared with the health plan and primary care provider (PCP). The visit usually lasts 60 to 90 minutes. A post-visit summary is provided to the PCP.

    25. Can a patient see their own PCP after the Matrix visit? 
    26. Yes. Premera supports the PCP-to-patient relationship. Matrix is a collaborative partner, not a PCP replacement.

  • Policy Updates