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Caregivers

For specific Member benefit or claims information, please contact us. With a completed Personal Representative form on file, we can answer any questions you may have about your loved one's Medicare health insurance information.

If you have someone appealing our decision for you other than your physician, your appeal must include an Appointment of Representative form. For more information, visit our Plan Documents page.

Assistance Available from Independence Blue Cross

Personal Health Visit Program

Personal Health Visits (PHV) are visits from a licensed health professional in the member’s home. These visits lasts about an hour and include a brief health assessment. They are a helpful and convenient way to get personalized health advice, and are offered to our members at no extra cost. This service is optional, and the visits will not affect the member’s current health insurance benefits or premiums. Members will receive a call from one of our health care vendors to see if they are interested in scheduling a visit.

Health Coaches

Sometimes you need a little extra support when you're managing a chronic condition or more complex health situation. That’s when an Independence Blue Cross Health Coach can help.

Independence Blue Cross offers Keystone 65 HMO and Personal Choice 65SM PPO members free, personalized services of a Registered Nurse Health Coach who will listen to the member’s health concerns and work together to set, achieve, and maintain the member’s health goals. Health coaches provide members with an added level of support to help members stay healthy, manage chronic condition(s), identify emerging risk, follow their doctors' treatment plan, and navigate their health journey.

What is a Health Coach?

A Health Coach is available to help our members with one or more of the following:

  • Managing chronic conditions such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease, or multiple conditions
  • Coping with a serious illness or accident, like cancer or a stroke
  • Answering questions about everyday health concerns for our members or their family
  • Coordinating services needed related to a hospitalization, procedure or illness
  • Understanding our member’s medications and how to safely take their prescriptions
  • Explaining complex health issues, tests or procedures

To reach a Health Coach, call 1-800-ASK-BLUE (1-800-275-2583; TTY 711), after you provide the requested information, say Health Coach. Health Coaches may also outreach to our members to offer assistance if they have had a recent medical event or have a chronic condition for which they are receiving treatment.

24/7 health information line

Keystone 65 HMO and Personal Choice 65SM PPO members have round-the-clock access to a Health Coach for all health-related questions and concerns. To reach a Health Coach, call 1-800-ASK-BLUE (1-800-275-2583; TTY 711), after you provide the requested information, say Health Coach.

IBXpress.com Member Portal

The ibxpress.com member website helps take the guesswork out of making important health decisions. From bee stings to back surgery, referrals to reimbursements, you can find the information you need quickly and easily. Experience ibxpress.com for yourself — register today.

Glossary of Common Medicare Terms

View definitions to common Medicare terms as defined in our Evidence of Coverage including, but not limited to, benefit period, coinsurance, cost-sharing, custodial care, extra help, grievance, late enrollment penalty, and urgently needed care.

Common Forms

HIPAA — to be used by members to authorize IBX to release member health information.

Personal Representative Form — to be used by members who wish to appoint another person as member's personal representative.

Advance Directives — information from Independence Blue Cross on your rights as a patient in Pennsylvania

Member Plan Documents

Additional Resources for More Information and Help

www.Medicare.gov — the Official U.S. Government Site for Medicare

www.Eldercare.gov — a public caregiver service of the Administration on Aging from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services

www.nia.nih.gov — National Institute on Aging dedicated to understanding the nature of aging

Safety

Home Safety Checklist

Below are ten quick things you can check and take care of in your loved one's home to keep them safe.

  • Are all electrical outlets free from overload? Are all electrical cords in good condition?
  • Are all carpets, rugs, and vinyl flooring secured to the floor?
  • Does bright lighting exist over the stove, sink, and countertop work areas?
  • Are towels, curtains, and other flammable objects not near the stove?
  • Does the bathroom door open outward? (This will provide easier help if a fall occurs.)
  • Are all doorknobs easy to grasp? If not, replace with lever handles.
  • Is the stairway well-lit with handrails on both sides?
  • Are medications contained in their original bottles and clearly labeled with doctor's instructions and expiration date?
  • Have heating and/or cooling systems been inspected and serviced in the last year?
  • Does each bedroom and floor have a working smoke detector with new batteries in the last six months?

Exercise

Regular physical activity can help your loved one look and feel younger as well as lower their risk for a variety of conditions and prevent loss of bone mass and improve balance, reducing the risk of a fall. The Centers for Disease Control, for those 65 years of age or older, generally fit and have no limiting health conditions, recommends 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (brisk walking) or 75 minutes per week of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity (jogging) and 2 or more days per week of muscle-strengthening activities1. If you are starting a new exercise routine, begin with 10 minutes at a time and increase as your Primary Care Physician (PCP) recommends or as you are able.

Before beginning any exercise routine, speak with your family member's PCP, especially if they have a preexisting condition. The routine should start slow and include warm-up and cool-down time after each session. Talk with your loved one's PCP about any goals and they can help develop a routine that will put your loved one on the path to a healthier, happier life.

The best activities include low-impact activities like, walking, swimming, dance, yoga, and water aerobics. Focus on activities that can help improve endurance, strength, and flexibility or range of motion.

Is your loved one chair-bound? Seek seated alternatives for lighting weights and stretching.

Recognizing and Reporting Abuse

If someone is in immediate danger, call 911 or your local police.

To report suspected elder abuse, neglect, or exploitation in Pennsylvania call the state-wide Elder Abuse Hotline at 1-800-490-8505.

If the abuse occurs in a nursing home and involves serious injury, sexual abuse or suspicious death, you may also call the Pennsylvania Department of Aging at 1-717-265-7887 and/or the Pennsylvania Department of Health Nursing Home Complaint Line at 1-800-254-5164.

Caregiver Stress and Depression

Caring for a loved one is not an easy task. Taking care of one's own well-being can be even more difficult while taking care of another person. Speak with your primary care physician if you find yourself concerned after reading the symptoms questions below.

  • Are you easily agitated or easily frustrated?
  • Do you feel guilty or worthless?
  • Do you feel hopeless?
  • Do you think about death or suicide?
  • Are you having trouble sleeping?
  • Are you always tired?
  • Have you lost interest in activities that you used to find fun and entertaining?
  • Do you have trouble concentrating?
  • Has your weight or your interest in food recently changed?
  • Have you had headaches that won't go away?

1 The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, 2nd edition

Website last updated: 10/1/2018
Y0041_HM_19_67199 Accepted 10/1/2018

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