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Independence Blue Cross offers wide range of Medicare choices for 2016

Plans include lower maximum out-of-pocket costs, new low to zero premium option

Philadelphia, PA – Independence Blue Cross (Independence), the leading health insurance organization in southeastern Pennsylvania, today announced that for 2016 it will continue to offer a number of high-quality, affordable Medicare Advantage plans that include enriched benefits like lower maximum out-of-pocket costs and extra routine chiropractic and podiatry visits. In addition, Independence is now offering a new Keystone 65 Focus Rx HMO plan with a low — and in many cases a zero — monthly premium.

“In today’s health care environment where there are an ever-growing number of Medicare products available it is extremely important to be innovative with how we design our plans,” said Robert J. Smith, vice president of sales and marketing for government markets at Independence. “Our 2016 Medicare products not only continue to offer the long-term stability and quality that individuals have come to expect from Independence Blue Cross, but they provide our members with enriched benefits.”

Independence’s new Keystone 65 Focus Rx HMO plan offers members:

  • Monthly premiums as low as $0 including prescription drug coverage.
  • Access to the most utilized generic drugs.
  • Lower copays for many popular benefits, such as $10 primary care visits.
  • A defined network of doctors and hospitals focused around the local communities Independence serves.

The new plan is one of four comprehensive options from Independence that Medicare Advantage members can choose from during this year’s annual enrollment period taking place October 15 to December 7, with benefits effective January 1, 2016.

In addition to the new plan, Independence is pleased to offer members the following enhancements in 2016:

  • Lower maximum out-of-pocket costs on all Medicare Advantage plans in Pennsylvania.
  • Six routine chiropractic and six routine podiatry visits for all Medicare Advantage plans in Pennsylvania, in addition to the routine visits already built into the Medicare-covered services.
  • A new hearing aid benefit provided through Tru Hearing that includes a hearing aid fitting and evaluation with up to two hearing aids per year included.
  • Minimal changes to existing Medicare Advantage plan premiums and benefits.

Independence’s full portfolio of Medicare health plans in 2016 includes the new Keystone 65 Focus Rx HMO, as well as Keystone 65 Select HMO, Keystone 65 Preferred HMO, and Personal Choice 65 PPO plan options. In addition to the plan options, Independence offers other benefits to keep its members healthy, such as the SilverSneakers fitness program (at no cost), coverage for emergency or urgent care anywhere in the world, and dental and vision coverage. Medicare Supplement products are also available through Independence.

“Choosing the right Medicare coverage is an important and very personal decision, but can also be an overwhelming process that requires individuals to research all plans available to them,” said Smith. “To make sure that our members and prospective members understand their choices and make the best plan decision to meet their needs, we’re hosting a number of meetings and information sessions at locations throughout the five counties we serve where specially-trained staff will be available to walk individuals through each plan option and answer any questions they have.”

To find the nearest meeting, visit and click on Attend an Informational Meeting at the bottom of the page.

Enrollment rules and options
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) generally permits individual Medicare beneficiaries to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan or Part D plan only during the six-week annual enrollment period, from October 15 to December 7. Beneficiaries cannot change to another Medicare Advantage plan after December 7, 2015.

Members and prospective members can learn more about Independence’s Medicare Advantage plans by visiting or calling 1-877-393-6733 or TTY/TDD: 711 and signing up for an Independence information meeting held at locations across southeastern Pennsylvania from now until year-end. In addition, beneficiaries can buy an Independence individual Medicare Advantage plan through one of the company’s licensed brokers or agents.

About Independence Blue Cross
Independence Blue Cross is the leading health insurance organization in southeastern Pennsylvania. With our affiliates, we serve nearly 10 million people in 24 states and the District of Columbia, including 2.5 million in the region. For nearly 80 years, we have been enhancing the health and wellness of the people and communities we serve by delivering innovative and competitively priced health care products and services; pioneering new ways to reward doctors, hospitals, and other health care professionals for coordinated, quality care; and supporting programs and events that promote wellness. To learn more, visit and on Twitter at @ibx. Independence Blue Cross is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

Media contact
Diana Quattrone
215-241-3113 (office)