Independence Blue Cross Offers New Medicare Supplement Policies Plans include enhanced hospice benefits compliant with Medicare regulations

Philadelphia, PA — May 28, 2010 — Independence Blue Cross (IBC) today announced that starting next month it will offer five new individual and three new group Medicare-supplement health plans, often referred to as “Medigap” plans. These new products will be called MedigapSecurity, and will be available to Medicare-eligible beneficiaries beginning June 1, 2010.

Potential members are encouraged to visit MedigapSecurity to learn more about all available options and to check eligibility requirements.

IBC’s current Medigap offering — Security 65 — will not be available to new members beginning with June 1, 2010, effective dates. However, current Security 65 members may remain enrolled with no benefits changes.

The MedigapSecurity plans are very similar to Security 65, plus they offer a Medicare Part A hospice cost-sharing benefit that fulfills the benefits coverage requirements in the 2008 Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act.

“We are very pleased to offer these new plans that provide a good blend of product flexibility, added coverage, and affordability that many Medicare beneficiaries are seeking,” said Steve Fera, vice president Government Business. “We’re proud of our long-standing commitment to seniors in our region, and are excited about expanding our plans to provide more choice for this important and growing segment of our business.”

What are Medigap products?

Medigap insurance combines the benefits of traditional Medicare and features of a private health plan, helping to pay expenses that Medicare doesn’t cover, such as copayments, coinsurance, and emergency care when members travel outside the U.S. Members who wish to purchase prescription drug coverage can buy a Part D plan separately.

MedigapSecurity offers:

  • five individual plan choices: A, B, C, F, and N and three group plan choices: A, B, and C;
  • freedom and flexibility of no referrals;
  • virtually no claim forms;
  • coverage for services when traveling throughout the U.S.;
  • access to wellness programs, such as weight management and smoking cessation;
  • emergency coverage when traveling outside the U.S. with Plans C, F, and N.

For members who choose not to purchase a Part D drug plan, IBC offers a discount drug program that helps beneficiaries save on prescriptions. This no-cost option is available with the new MedigapSecurity plans.

Interested beneficiaries can obtain information by calling for an information kit, attending a free informational meeting, or by requesting a home visit by a marketing representative. IBC also offers several Medicare Advantage (HMO and PPO) plans with or without drug coverage.

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.

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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 dont 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 www.medicare.gov.

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.