Empire BlueCross Expands Reach of $0 Premium Medicare Advantage and Dual-Eligible Plans

Empire plans offer benefits that give members high-quality, affordable health care

ALBANY, N.Y.--()--Empire BlueCross (Empire) is expanding its $0 premium Medicare Advantage plans for 2018, covering 17 counties where Empire will make plans available to Medicare-eligible New Yorkers. This expansion complements an already robust portfolio of health plans Empire offers in its New York service area. All of these plans are available for enrollment in this year’s Medicare annual election period (AEP).

“Empire is one of the nation’s only insurers that can offer a full continuum of Medicare products, including something for most budgets and lifestyles”

The opportunity to enroll in a Medicare plan begins October 15 and continues through December 7. This is the one time each year when most people can pick or switch Medicare Advantage plans.

“Once again, we are privileged to offer consumers a variety of Medicare Advantage products, because we believe it’s important for consumers to have options as they look for the plan that fits their health care needs in 2018,” said Tomas Orozco, Medicare president of the Anthem’s east region. “We put our experience to work to give members high-quality, affordable health care, allowing them to live the life they’ve earned.”

For 2018 insurance plans, individuals eligible for Medicare – people 65 years and older and those with certain disabilities – are able to enroll in Empire MediBlue Plus (HMO), Empire MediBlue Select (HMO), Empire MediBlue Core (HMO), Empire MediBlue Choice (HMO-POS), or Empire MediBlue Access (PPO). All of the plans include LiveHealth Online and SilverSneakers, offered at $0 copay. LiveHealth Online is an innovative way to connect with board-certified doctors through two-way live video using a smart phone, tablet, or computer with a webcam. Doctors are available 24/7 with less than a ten minute wait.

New Yorkers who are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid – also known as dual-eligible – have the option of enrolling in Empire’s dual-eligible plan – Empire MediBlue Dual Advantage (HMO SNP) in the counties where this product is sold.

“Empire is one of the nation’s only insurers that can offer a full continuum of Medicare products, including something for most budgets and lifestyles,” added Orozco.

The Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug (MAPD) plan utilizes a preferred pharmacy network to help members save on costs. This preferred cost-sharing pharmacy network will continue to be offered in 2018. The MAPD plan will also add more medications to the existing list of $0 copay medications that treat hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol and osteoporosis - some of Medicare’s most common conditions and utilized prescription drugs.

Information about Empire Medicare Advantage plans.

Empire BlueCross Medicare Advantage plans for individuals eligible for Medicare:

  • Empire MediBlue Plus (HMO) offers enrollees benefits such as a $0 copay for an annual eye exam; a benefit for eye glasses or contact lenses; $0 copay for an annual hearing exam; a $3,000 hearing aid benefit per year; and membership to SilverSneakers, a fitness program tailored to older adults.

    This plan is available in Bronx, Kings, New York, and Queens counties for a $0 monthly premium; Rockland and Westchester counties for a $56 monthly premium; Albany, Nassau, Rensselaer, Saratoga, and Schenectady counties for a $46 monthly premium; and Suffolk County for a $78 monthly premium.
  • Empire MediBlue Select (HMO) has benefits such as $0 copay for one oral exam and dental cleaning each year; a $0 copay for an annual eye exam; $0 copay for an annual hearing exam; a $100 benefit for eye glasses or contacts; a $3,000 hearing aid benefit per year; and membership to SilverSneakers. This plan is available in Dutchess, Orange, and Putnam counties for a $36 monthly premium.
  • Empire MediBlue Core (HMO) gives enrollees $0 monthly premiums and offers benefits such as $0 copay for an oral exam and a dental cleaning each year; a $0 copay for an annual eye exam, $0 copay for an annual hearing exam, a $200 benefit for eye glasses or contacts, a $3,000 hearing aid benefit per year; and membership to SilverSneakers. This plan is available in the following counties: Bronx, Kings, Queens, Richmond, Saratoga, and Westchester.
  • Empire MediBlue Choice (HMO-POS) gives members $0 copay for two oral exams and two dental cleanings each year, a $0 copay for an annual eye exam, $100 benefit for eye glass or contact lenses each year, $0 copay for an annual hearing exam, a $3,000 hearing aid benefit per year, and membership to SilverSneakers. Residents in Nassau County can enroll in this plan for a $66 monthly premium and residents of Kings County can enroll with a $96 monthly premium.
  • Empire MediBlue Access (PPO) gives enrollees $0 copay annual oral exam, a $0 copay annual cleaning, and an annual $0 copay eye exam. Enrollees are also given membership to SilverSneakers. The plan offers members more flexibility to see clinicians inside and outside of the network, with higher out-of-pocket costs when seeing doctors who are not in the network. Monthly premiums for this plan are $67. This plan is available to individuals in Albany, Rensselaer, Saratoga, and Schoharie counties.

Empire BlueCross Medicare Advantage plan for dual-eligible individuals:

  • Empire MediBlue Dual Advantage (HMO SNP) is a $0 premium plan that gives members a number of competitive plan benefits, such as preventive vision and comprehensive dental coverage, $125 on eyewear hardware, a $3,000 hearing aid benefit per year, a quarterly stipend to pay for certain over-the-counter health products, and SilverSneakers. This plan is available to dual-eligible individuals residing in the following counties: Albany, Bronx, Dutchess, Kings, Nassau, New York, Orange, Putnam, Queens, Rensselaer, Richmond, Schenectady, and Westchester.

For details about Empire’s Medicare plans in your area, call (855) 866-4242 or visit Empire’s Medicare online store at https://shop.empireblue.com/medicare. Note, zero cost share applies to specified covered services when provided in network.

Empire BlueCross is an HMO plan with a Medicare contract. Empire BlueCross is an HMO DSNP plan with a Medicare contract and a coordination of benefits agreement with the New York Medicaid program. Empire BlueCross is an LPPO plan with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in Empire BlueCross 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 January 1 of each year. You must continue to pay your Medicare Part B premium. We do not discriminate, exclude people, or treat them differently on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability in our health programs and activities. 注意:如果您使用繁體中文,您可以免費獲得語言援助服務。請致電1-888-230-7338(TTY:711)。 ATENCIÓN: Si habla español, tiene a su disposición servicios gratuitos de asistencia lingüística. Llame al 1-888-230-7338 (TTY: 711). This plan is available to anyone who has both Medical Assistance from the State and Medicare. Premium, co-pays, co-insurance, and deductibles may vary based on the level of Extra Help you receive. Please contact the plan for further details. Other providers are available in our network. The provider network may change at any time. You will receive notice when necessary.

About Empire BlueCross

Empire BlueCross (Empire) is the trade name of Empire HealthChoice Assurance, Inc. and Empire BlueCross HMO is the trade name of Empire HealthChoice HMO, Inc. independent licensees of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, serving residents and businesses in the 28 eastern and southeastern counties of New York State. Additional information about Empire is available at www.empireblue.com. Also, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/EmpireBCBS_News and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AskEmpire.

Contacts

Empire BlueCross
Hieu Nguyen, (202) 510-8848
hieu.nguyen2@anthem.com