Philadelphia – Americans are living longer than ever before. As the number of people 65 and older increases – especially in states with large senior populations, like Pennsylvania – so do the health care costs they face. Independence Blue Cross (Independence) is dedicated to making health coverage affordable for seniors in the region and is providing Medicare plans in 2019 that emphasize quality and affordable coverage, gives access to the largest network of doctors and hospitals in the region, and offers new benefits.
“As the largest Medicare health plan in the region, we’ve worked hard to be the plan people know and trust. We’ve stayed committed to our members over the years while other insurers have come and gone,” said Robert J. Smith, vice president of Medicare Sales and Marketing at Independence. “This is an exciting time for our Medicare members. We have a variety of affordable and innovative plans to fit every member’s needs in 2019.”
For 2019, Independence will again offer its Keystone 65 Basic Rx HMO Medicare Advantage plan with no monthly premium in all five counties it serves. Members enrolled in the plan will also enjoy richer benefits that include prescription drug coverage with no drug (Part D) or medical deductible.
The Keystone Basic Rx HMO plan is one of a number of comprehensive and affordable Independence options Medicare beneficiaries can choose from during this year’s Annual Election Period from October 15 to December 7, with benefits effective January 1, 2019.
Additional Medicare offerings from Independence in 2019 include:
- Additional Keystone 65 HMO plans with a monthly premium decrease of $5 to $15.
- Personal Choice 65 PPO plan with a monthly premium decrease in Philadelphia and Bucks counties.
- New quarterly allowance of $30 for members to spend on over-the-counter items.
- New preferred retail pharmacy benefit that allows members to fill up to a 90-day supply of generic and preferred prescription drugs at a preferred pharmacy for the price of only two copayments.
- New preferred primary care physician (PCP) benefit that allows HMO members to visit one of hundreds of preferred in-network physicians with no copay or co-insurance.
- New telemedicine benefit that allows members to speak with a physician for non-urgent conditions over the phone or internet for only $5.
- New Choice Plus optional supplemental program that offers members enhanced dental, hearing, and vision coverage for an additional $20 monthly premium.
- New MedigapFreedom products, competitively priced Medigap plans that include GlobalFit, TruHearing, and Davis Vision for as low as $75 per month.
Those signing up for an Independence Medicare Advantage plan in 2019 will also benefit from a free SilverSneakers® fitness membership; routine podiatry and chiropractic coverage (in addition to the six visits Medicare offers); free annual physicals, and access to a nurse hotline 24 hours a day, seven days a week; and 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 offerings by visiting www.ibxmedicare.com or calling 1-877-393-6733. They can also sign up for one of several free 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 2019 options.
Enrollment rules and options
The Centers for Medicare & 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. In 2019 individuals will also have one opportunity to change to another Medicare plan after January 1, 2019 and before March 31, 2019.