Independence Blue Cross introduces BlueExtraTwo options available to enhance health care coverage

Philadelphia, PA – April 5, 2011 – Independence Blue Cross (IBC) today introduced BlueExtra, new supplemental health coverage that includes dental, vision, and hearing aid benefits that are often not included in some Medicare Advantage, and Medicare Supplement plans. BlueExtra is available to individuals in the five-county Philadelphia region for enrollment beginning May 1, 2011.

BlueExtra is geared BlueExtra is geared for plans that do not offer hearing, dental, or vision coverage, such Original Medicare, and some Medicare Advantage or Medicare Supplement plans. BlueExtra may be purchased by anyone who would like to have hearing, dental, or vision coverage in addition to their medical coverage, whether they are covered by an IBC health plan or not. While BlueExtra is available to anyone who wishes to enhance his or her current health care coverage, it is best suited for adults, as it does not include pediatric dentistry or orthodontia benefits.

"To control costs, many Medicare Advantage plans have had to cut back on benefits such as hearing, dental and vision, and those extra out-of-pocket costs can be a burden on people," said Stephen P. Fera, vice president, Government Business for IBC. "BlueExtra provides many of these benefits at an affordable monthly cost, as well as additional benefits that will help keep members healthy."

IBC is offering two BlueExtra plans: Basic and Plus.

The Basic plan is $19 a month and includes the following benefits:

  • vision coverage for annual eye exams and eyeglasses (or contact lenses);
  • low copays for dental cleaning exams twice annually;
  • coverage for certain dental maintenance and surgical procedures;
  • hearing aid reimbursement.

The Plus plan is $29 a month and offers all the benefits listed above, plus enhanced vision, dental, and hearing aid benefits. Individuals who enroll in the Plus plan will also have access to added wellness benefits through IBC’s Healthy Lifestyles’ program, such as a $150 reimbursement for fitness center membership fees, reimbursements for weight management and tobacco cessation plans, and more.

For more information about the specific benefits offered by BlueExtra or to enroll, visit

About Independence Blue Cross
Independence Blue Cross is a leading health insurer in southeastern Pennsylvania. Nationwide, Independence Blue Cross and its affiliates provide coverage to nearly 3.3 million people. For more than 70 years, Independence Blue Cross has offered high-quality health care coverage tailored to meet the changing needs of members, employers, and health care professionals. Independence Blue Cross's HMO and PPO health care plans have consistently received the highest ratings from the National Committee for Quality Assurance.

Independence Blue Cross is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. More information about Independence Blue Cross is available at

You must continue to pay your Medicare Part B premium.

The Medicare Contract is renewed annually, and the availability of coverage beyond the end of the current year is not guaranteed.

The benefit information provided herein is a brief summary, not a comprehensive description of benefits. For more information contact the plan. Benefits, formulary, pharmacy network, premium and/or copayments/coinsurance may change January 1, 2013. Members may enroll in the plan during specific times of the year. Contact the plan for more information. Please reference the Evidence of Coverage for information on premiums, cost-sharing, out-of-network coverage, rights and responsibilities upon disenrollment and any applicable conditions associated with using the plan benefits, as well as limitations, copayments, and restrictions. Members must use network pharmacies to access their prescription drug benefit, except under non-routine circumstances, and quantity limitations and restrictions may apply.

You may be able to get Extra Help to pay for your prescription drug premiums and costs. To see if you qualify for extra help, call:

  • 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048, 24 hours a day/7 days a week;
  • The Social Security Office at 1-800-772-1213 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. TTY users should call, 1-800-325-0778; or
  • Your State Medicaid Office.

People with limited incomes may qualify for Extra Help to pay for their prescription drug costs. If you qualify, Medicare could pay for up to seventy-five (75) percent or more of your drug costs including monthly prescription drug premiums, annual deductibles, and co-insurance. Additionally, those who qualify will not be subject to the coverage gap or a late enrollment penalty. Many people are eligible for these savings and donít even know it. For more information about this Extra Help, contact your local Social Security office or call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227), 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048.

Medicare beneficiaries may enroll in Keystone 65 HMO, Personal Choice 65 PPO, or Select Option PDP through the CMS Medicare Online Enrollment Center located at

You must use plan providers except in emergency or urgent care situations or for out-of-area renal dialysis or other services. You must use plan providers except in emergency or urgent care situations or for out-of-area renal dialysis or other services. If you obtain routine care from out-of-network providers neither Medicare nor Keystone 65 HMO or Personal Choice 65 PPO will be responsible for the costs.

Please contact Keystone 65 HMO or Personal Choice 65 PPO Customer Service for more information.