Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield Emphasizes Better Health through New $0 Premium Medicare Advantage Plans, Provider Collaboration, Extra Benefits

DENVER--()--As Medicare’s primary sales season gets under way, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield (Anthem), is bringing $0 premium Medicare Advantage plans – with extra benefits – back to Denver and Douglas counties in Colorado through provider collaboration agreements with Centura Health, UCHealth and University of Colorado School of Medicine Doctors (CU Doctors).

“Even with the Medicare reimbursement environment changing, we think it’s critical to structure our plans to provide our members with real value over Original Medicare, including extra benefits and strong local alliances”

This includes launching Dual-Eligible Special Needs Plans (DSNPs) for people eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid, and traditional HMOs for the general population. For a $0 premium, Anthem Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug (MAPD) plans offer significant benefits not available in Original Medicare, including $0 copays for preventive dental, vision and hearing benefits and a free fitness program.

“Even with the Medicare reimbursement environment changing, we think it’s critical to structure our plans to provide our members with real value over Original Medicare, including extra benefits and strong local alliances,” said Josh Martin, president of Anthem’s Medicare west region.

Following are some specifics on Anthem MAPD plans that will be available for the Annual Election Period, or AEP, which began Oct. 15 and continues through Dec. 7. Plans are effective Jan. 1, 2016.

MAPD market return. Anthem’s new MAPD offerings include a traditional HMO plan, called Anthem MediBlue Plus (HMO), and a Dual-Eligible Special Needs Plan (DSNP), called Anthem MediBlue Dual Advantage (HMO SNP), in Denver and Douglas counties. Both plans are available for a $0 premium.

DSNPs serve those beneficiaries eligible for both Medicaid and Medicare. They are the largest and fastest growing type of the special needs plans1. The Colorado DSNP features dental, vision and hearing benefits, podiatry services, transportation to doctor’s appointments, a free fitness program and a monthly allowance for health care items purchased over the counter, such as cold and allergy products, dental products and vitamins, all at no extra cost to the member. Unlike most plans, people who qualify for a DSNP have a continuous Special Election Period, which means they can elect to join a new plan at any time throughout the year.

Provider collaboration. To improve member health and lower member costs, Anthem will re-enter Colorado with key Medicare provider collaboration agreements that include Centura Health, UCHealth and University of Colorado School of Medicine Doctors (CU Doctors).

$0 generics. Both Prescription Drug Plans (PDP) and MAPD plans will feature a “Select Tier” with selected generic drugs for a $0 copay at preferred pharmacies, including some drugs that treat high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. Both Anthem MAPD plans and several PDP plans will offer certain generics in the coverage gap for a $0 copay. Anthem has nearly 200 preferred pharmacies in Colorado, including Kroger affiliates City Market and King Soopers, Target and Wal-Mart (Sam’s Club).

In addition to MAPD plans, Anthem offers Medicare Supplement plans and standalone PDP plans across all Colorado counties. Medicare Supplement plans help cover costs Original Medicare doesn’t, such as copayments, coinsurance and deductibles. These plans offer access to any doctor or medical facility that accepts Medicare, generally for a higher premium than an MAPD. They are generally paired with a PDP.

“We pride ourselves in being one of the nation’s only insurers that can offer a full continuum of Medicare products, including something for every budget and lifestyle,” Martin said.

For details about Anthem Medicare plans in your area, call (855) 866-3979 or visit Anthem’s Medicare online store at www.anthem.com/shop. Anthem will be holding educational events and home visits throughout AEP. Anthem-affiliated agents will be available at some locations of City Market and King Soopers. Days and hours ours vary.

Anthem is an HMO plan and a PDP plan with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in Anthem depends on contract renewal. This information is not a complete description of benefits. Contact the plan for more information. Limitations, copayments, and restrictions may apply. Benefits, premiums and/or co-payments/co-insurance may change on Jan. 1 of each year. The formulary, pharmacy network, and/or provider network may change at any time. You will receive notice when necessary.

You must continue to pay your Medicare Part B premium.

This plan is available to anyone who has both Medical Assistance from the State and Medicare. Premiums, co-pays, co-insurance and deductibles may vary based on the level of Extra Help you receive. Please contact the plan for further details.

About Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is the trade name of Rocky Mountain Hospital and Medical Service, Inc. HMO products underwritten by HMO Colorado, Inc. Independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Additional information about Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Colorado is available at www.anthem.com. Also follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/AskAnthem or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AskAnthem.

1 Data source is CPSC June 2014 Membership File from CMS

Contacts

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Colorado
Doug Bennett Jr., (502) 889-2103
doug.bennettjr@anthem.com

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Release Summary

Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield emphasizes better health in Colorado through new $0 premium Medicare Advantage plans, provider collaboration, extra benefits

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Colorado