Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield's New Medicare Supplement Plans Offer More Choice and Financial Flexibility to New York's Growing Medicare Population

NEW YORK, May 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Today Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield in New York (Empire) introduced new "modernized" Medicare Supplement plans that have been updated to consider the needs of today's Medicare beneficiaries.  

Empire's new Medicare Supplement plans will offer a portfolio of options ranging from full coverage that bridges Medicare gaps, to the availability of packages offering low monthly premiums and more predictable co-pay structures that encourage wellness by making doctor's visits more affordable ($20 office co-pay and $50 ER) for beneficiaries.  Consumers in New York can select from six plans: A, B, F, High deductible F, G and N.

"The updates to the Medicare Supplement health benefit plans are welcome news for Medicare beneficiaries during these tough economic times because the plans align the benefits with the recent updates made to the Medicare program," said Krista Bowers, president of Empire's Senior Business. "The new 'modernized' Medicare Supplement plans offer peace of mind, practicality and affordability that is in tune with today's Medicare landscape."

The new Medicare Supplement plans are a result of the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act (MIPPA) of 2008 that authorized a new set of Medicare Supplement insurance plans to reflect the needs of today's Medicare beneficiaries.  

A Medicare Supplement policy (sometimes referred to as Medigap) is a supplemental health insurance plan sold by private insurance companies to fill the "gaps" in Original Medicare Plan coverage. Medicare Supplement policies help pay some of the health care costs that the Original Medicare Plan doesn't cover. If an individual is enrolled in the Original Medicare Plan and has a Medicare Supplement policy, then Medicare and Medicare Supplement will pay both their shares of covered health care costs. Empire and its affiliated health plans are the second largest provider of Medicare Supplement health benefit plans in the nation.

Although as of June 1, 2010 the current Medicare plans referred to as "standardized" plans will no longer be open for new sales or new membership, Medicare beneficiaries who are currently enrolled in a "standardized" or "pre-standardized" Medicare Supplement plan can retain their current plans as long as their premium payments are current.

About Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield

Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield (Empire) is the trade name of Empire HealthChoice Assurance, Inc., and Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield 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.

SOURCE Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield in New York


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