Regence Expands Educational Seminars During Medicare Part D Annual Election Period

Medicare Beneficiaries Can Learn More About Range of Options That Also

Include MedAdvantage Plans From November 15 Through December 31, 2006

Oct 10, 2006, 01:00 ET from Regence BlueShield

    SEATTLE, Oct. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- As the annual election period for
 Medicare Part D nears, Regence is ramping up its efforts to educate
 Medicare beneficiaries about their options with the new prescription drug
 benefit program.
     The annual election period runs from November 15 to December 31, 2006.
 During this time, Medicare beneficiaries can learn more about their
 Medicare Part D options, sign up for the first time or switch to a new
     Regence will begin conducting a series of free seminars throughout
 Oregon from October through December to help Medicare beneficiaries learn
 about their Medicare Part D options. The seminars are a "one stop shop"
 where Medicare beneficiaries can learn more about the prescription drug
 benefit, have their questions answered and receive assistance with
     "Regence is committed to reaching out to Medicare beneficiaries one on
 one to help them understand their options and help them choose the plan
 that best suits their needs," said Larry Loo, director of Consumer
 Marketing for Regence. "We are based in the community, which allows us to
 provide Medicare beneficiaries with the personal attention they need to
 make the choice that's right for them."
     Prescription medications are a key driver of rising health care costs,
 Loo said, and Part D is the only federal program that saves people money on
 their medications. Medicare beneficiaries may choose Part D as a standalone
 plan or they may pair it with a MedAdvantage plan for a simplified benefit
 that covers both their medical and prescription costs. Regence's
 comprehensive seminars will help Medicare beneficiaries sort through these
 options to decide which one might be right for them.
     The annual election period offers those Medicare beneficiaries who are
 have just become eligible for Medicare Part D or those who are looking to
 switch plans an opportunity to do so without incurring a penalty.
     "This is a great opportunity to explore your options. We hope the
 Medicare beneficiaries in our community will take advantage of this
 opportunity to consider their options, whether they are new to Medicare
 Part D or looking to switch to a different plan," Loo noted.
     Regence will hold educational seminars throughout Washington from
 October to December. Some upcoming seminars include, but are not limited
 to, the following:
     Bothell    Denny's Restaurant (Canyon Park)
                22833 Bothell Hwy, SE       Thursday, Oct. 26, 2 - 4 p.m.
     Seattle    Marie Callender's (Northgate)
                9538 1st Ave NE             Wednesday, Oct. 25, 9 - 11 a.m.
     Tacoma     Regence BlueShield Office/Tacoma
                1501 Market Street          Wednesday, Oct. 25, 10 - 11:30 a.m.
     Additional seminars are planned for Washington through December.
 Registration is required. Medicare beneficiaries may call 1-888-REGENCE
 (1-888-734-3623) or visit for more information or to
 register for a seminar.
     About Regence BlueShield
     Regence BlueShield is a leading health plan in Washington and provides
 health-care coverage to more than 1 million members. Regence BlueShield is
 part of The Regence Group, the largest affiliation of health plans in the
 northwest and intermountain states, collectively covering nearly three
 million people. Regence and its affiliates are not-for-profit independent
 licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Nearly one in
 three Americans has health care coverage through Blue Plans. For more
 information, visit .

SOURCE Regence BlueShield