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Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Announces 2010 Medicare Options

CONTACT: Jenna McPhee
(617) 246-7412
Jenna.McPhee@bcbsma.com

Seven Plans Offered, Including a Lower Cost PPO

BOSTON — November 16, 2009 — Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (BCBSMA) today announced its 2010 individual product options for seniors and people with Medicare. Eligible individuals will have three types of plans to choose from to meet their coverage needs. Options include two Medicare Advantage plans that cover everything Original Medicare does plus additional benefits, two Medex® supplemental plans that can be added to Original Medicare to fill gaps in coverage, and three Blue MedicareRx (Medicare Part D) prescription drug plan options.

The annual election period for Medicare Advantage and Blue MedicareRx takes place November 15 — December 31. Medex enrollment is on a rolling basis and people with Medicare can enroll at any time of the year.

"Each year, people with Medicare have the opportunity to re-evaluate their health care and prescription coverage needs so they can select the best options available to them," said Ken Arruda, Senior Director of Medicare Markets for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts. "In 2010, BCBSMA continues to offer HMO and PPO Medicare Advantage plans, in addition to our Medex supplemental plans and Medicare prescription drug plans. BCBSMA has been committed to providing seniors and other eligible enrollees with Medicare options for health coverage since Medicare began in 1966."

Plan options for 2010 include:

Medicare Advantage
BCBSMA's Medicare Advantage plans cover everything traditional Medicare does, plus additional benefits including routine vision care and check-ups. BCBSMA is offering a Medicare HMO plan and a Medicare PPO Blue plan that include prescription drug coverage for 2010.

The Medicare PPO Blue PlusRx plan is offered at a $123.10 monthly premium and gives eligible enrollees the flexibility to see specialists without a referral and obtain care from physicians wherever they travel throughout the United States. The Medicare HMO Blue PlusRx option is offered at a $179 monthly premium and offers the benefit of coordinated care by a dedicated primary care provider.

Medex
There are deductibles and coinsurance under Original Medicare that beneficiaries are responsible to pay if they do not have a supplemental plan like Medex. Members can enroll in a Medex plan any time of year, as long as they have Original Medicare and are an eligible Massachusetts resident. BCBSMA continues to offer two Medex plans for 2010.

Medex Bronze is offered at a $172.81 monthly premium and covers the coinsurance and the deductible for Medicare-approved hospital stays, doctor visits, home visits, and ambulatory care. It also provides coverage for care received in and outside of the United States. Medex Core is offered at a $91.22 monthly premium. The plan provides most of the same coverage as Medex Bronze and covers care received inside the United States.

Prescription drug coverage for both plans can be obtained by pairing Medex with a Medicare prescription drug plan such as Blue MedicareRx.

Blue MedicareRx (Medicare Part D)
Medicare Part D is a voluntary prescription drug program available to all Medicare beneficiaries through private health insurers; BCBSMA's plans are called Blue MedicareRx. Seniors and others with Medicare have the option of three plans to choose from for 2010.

Blue MedicareRx Value is offered at a $47.70 monthly premium and has a $310 deductible. Members pay $8 for generics, $25 for preferred brands, $65 for non-preferred brands, or 25% for specialty medications. Once prescription costs reach $2,830 for the year, members pay 100% of drug costs out of pocket until the annual maximum of $4,550 is reached. Thereafter, members pay lower cost-sharing.

Blue MedicareRx Value Plus is a non-deductible plan offered at a $53.10 monthly premium. Members pay $8 for generics, $35 for preferred brands, $75 for non-preferred brands, or 33% for specialty medications until drug costs reach $2,830. The same rules as Blue MedicareRx Value then apply.

Blue MedicareRx Premier is a non-deductible plan offered at a $92.70 monthly premium. Members pay $8 for generics, $30 for preferred brands, $70 for non-preferred brands, or 33% for specialty medications. Once costs exceed $2,830, generic prescriptions continue to cost $8 and all non-generic drugs cost 100% out of pocket until the annual maximum of $4,550 is reached. The same rules as Blue MedicareRx Value then apply.

"BCBSMA is committed to always putting our members' health first and ensuring they have access to quality health care plans," says Arruda. "While BCBSMA offers three classes of plans to choose from, we urge people with Medicare to investigate all options available to them and to contact counselors at SHINE with any questions."

To learn more about BCBSMA's Medicare coverage options, list of medications covered, and the face-to-face educational seminars offered, visit: http://www.bluecrossma.com/medicare or call 1-800-678-2265 (TTY: 1-800-522-1254), from 8 a.m. - 8 p.m., seven days a week through December 31.

Seniors can also contact CMS for additional information by visiting http://www.cms.hhs.gov or calling 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). SHINE can be reached by calling 1-800-AGE-INFO (1-800-243-4636) (TTY: 1-800-872-0166) or by visiting www.800ageinfo.com.

 

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts ( http://www.bluecrossma.com ) was founded more than 70 years ago by a group of community-minded business leaders. Today, headquartered in Boston, BCBSMA provides coverage to more than 3 million members, 2.5 million in Massachusetts. BCBSMA believes in rewarding doctors and hospitals for delivering safe and effective care, and in empowering patients to take more responsibility, become educated health care consumers and become stronger partners with their doctors. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.

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