Independence Blue Cross offers zero-premium Medicare Advantage plan in all five counties it serves

Other 2018 benefits include HMO plans that do not require referrals and one of the largest networks of doctors and hospitals in the region

Philadelphia – Independence Blue Cross (Independence) today announced a new zero-premium Medicare Advantage plan, Keystone 65 Basic Rx HMO, that will be offered across its entire five-county service area — Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties — during the 2018 Medicare Annual Election Period. In addition, Independence will continue to offer a number of other high-quality, affordable plans that include enriched benefits like the elimination of referrals on all HMO plans, the addition of Wegmans and Sellersville retail pharmacies for the Preferred Pharmacy network, and one of the largest network of doctors and hospitals in the region.

“We have always been one of the most trusted health plans in our region and our 2018 Medicare products continue to offer the value, long-term stability, and peace of mind people have come to expect from Independence,” said Robert J. Smith, vice president of Medicare Sales and Marketing at Independence. “A significant change this year is that referrals will no longer be required for members enrolled in any of our Medicare Advantage HMO plans. By eliminating this requirement, members will now be able to go directly to specialists without having to first obtain a referral from their primary care physicians. This will provide a much more seamless experience for our plan holders.”

The new Keystone 65 Basic Rx HMO plan is one of five comprehensive options from Independence that Medicare-eligible individuals can choose from during this year’s annual enrollment period taking place October 15 through December 7, with benefits effective January 1, 2018. The other four Medicare Advantage plans available include three Keystone 65 HMO products and one Personal Choice 65 PPO plan.

Additional plan benefits that Independence is pleased to offer during the 2018 Medicare Annual Election Period include:

• Free SilverSneakers® fitness membership
• Access to a nurse hotline 24 hours a day, seven days a week
• Affordable hearing aid coverage
• Routine podiatry and chiropractic coverage
• Free annual physicals
• Access to the Personal Health Visit Program through which members can meet with a nurse practitioner in their home or at another designated location to discuss their health, medications, and/or any other health-related questions that they may have

Prospective members can learn more about Independence’s Medicare Advantage offerings by visiting www.ibxmedicare.com or calling 1-877-393-6733 and signing up for one of a number of informational meetings being held now until the end of the year throughout southeastern Pennsylvania. Current members can call the number on the back of their card if they have questions about their current Medicare Advantage plan or 2018 options.

Enrollment rules and options
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services 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. Individuals cannot change to another Medicare Advantage plan after December 7, 2018.

About Independence Blue Cross
Independence Blue Cross is the leading health insurance organization in southeastern Pennsylvania. With our affiliates, we serve more than 8.5 million people in 24 states and the District of Columbia. For almost 80 years, we have been enhancing the health and well-being 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 www.ibx.com. Connect with us on Facebook and on Twitter. Independence Blue Cross is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

Media contact:
Diana Quattrone
Independence Blue Cross
215-241-3113 (o) | 215-815-7828 (c)
Diana.Quattrone@ibx.com