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Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Announces 2011 Medicare Options

CONTACT: Jenna McPhee
617-246-7412
jenna.mcphee@bcbsma.com

Three plan types offered to meet health care and prescription needs

BOSTON — October 6, 2010 — Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (BCBSMA), a locally-based, community-focused health plan that's been providing options for people with Medicare since 1966, today announced its 2011 individual plan choices for seniors and other people with Medicare. Eligible individuals will continue to have three types of plans to choose from to meet their health care coverage and prescription 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 two Blue MedicareRx (Medicare Part D) prescription drug plans.

The annual enrollment period for Medicare Advantage and Blue MedicareRx takes place November 15 through December 31. However, people with Medicare can enroll in a BCBSMA Medex plan at any time of the year.

"As a provider of Medicare options for almost 45 years, we are happy to continue offering a number of plans to choose from to meet the coverage needs of seniors and other people with Medicare in Massachusetts," said Ken Arruda, Senior Director of Medicare Markets for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts. "We encourage all Medicare beneficiaries to closely reevaluate their Medicare options—as they should each year during open enrollment—to choose a plan that will deliver the best value. We believe consumers will find value in our 2011 plan options, which include a flexible Medicare Advantage PPO plan, two Medex plans and two prescription drug coverage plans."

2011 Options Include1:

Medicare Advantage
BCBSMA's Medicare Advantage plans cover everything traditional Medicare does, plus additional benefits including routine vision care, check-ups and Medicare prescription drug coverage.

The Medicare PPO Blue PlusRx plan is offered at a monthly premium of $134.00 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 monthly premium of $181.00 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. A Medex plan can help members cover those additional health care costs. Enrollment can occur any time, as long as enrollees have Original Medicare and are a Massachusetts resident. BCBSMA continues to offer two Medex plans for 2011.

Medex Bronze has a $181.76 monthly premium and covers the coinsurance and the deductible for Medicare-approved hospital stays, and other services such as doctor visits, home visits, and ambulatory care. It also provides coverage for care received outside of the United States. Medex Core is offered at $95.69, 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 Part D prescription drug plan such as Blue MedicareRx.

Blue MedicareRx (Medicare Part D)2
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. New for 2011 is the option of receiving a 90 day supply of drugs through mail order for the same cost as a 30 day supply at a retail location. Blue MedicareRx members will pay either $4 or $6 for a 90 day supply of drugs on the Tier 1 preferred generics tier in 2011. People with Medicare have two plans to choose from for 2011:

Blue MedicareRx Value Plus has no deductible and is offered at a $55.50 monthly premium. Members pay $6 for preferred generics, $12 for generics, $44 for preferred brands, $90 for non-preferred brands, or 33% for specialty medications until drug costs reach $2,840. Once $2,840 is reached, 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 Premier also has no deductible and is offered at a $106.60 monthly premium. Members pay $4 for preferred generics, $9 for generics, $30 for preferred brands, $70 for non-preferred brands, or 33% for specialty medications. Once costs exceed $2,840, prescriptions will continue to cost $4 for preferred generics, $9 for generics, and members will pay 100% of costs for all non-generic drugs until the annual maximum of $4,550 is reached.

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 calling 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227), or a Serving the Health Information Needs of Elders (SHINE) counselor can be reached by calling 1-800-243-4636.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (www.bluecrossma.com) was founded 73 years ago by a group of community-minded business leaders. Today, headquartered in Boston, BCBSMA provides coverage to nearly 3 million members. 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.

 

1 For specific plan details 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.

2 Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont, and Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island are the legal entities which have contracted as a joint enterprise with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to offer the Part D plan(s) noted and are the risk-bearing entities for the Blue MedicareRx plans. The joint enterprise is a Medicare approved Part D Sponsor.

 

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