Independence Blue Cross Introduces BlueExtra—New Supplemental Dental, Vision, And Hearing Benefits

Two options available to enhance health care coverage

Apr 05, 2011, 15:45 ET from Independence Blue Cross

PHILADELPHIA, April 5, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Independence Blue Cross (IBC) today introduced BlueExtra(SM), new supplemental health coverage that includes dental, vision, and hearing aid benefits that are often not included in some Medicare Advantage, and Medicare Supplement plans. BlueExtra is available to individuals in the five-county Philadelphia region for enrollment beginning May 1, 2011.

BlueExtra is geared for plans that do not offer hearing, dental, or vision coverage, such as original Medicare, and some Medicare Advantage or Medicare Supplement plans. BlueExtra may be purchased by anyone who would like to have hearing, dental, or vision coverage in addition to their medical coverage, whether they are covered by an IBC health plan or not. While BlueExtra is available to anyone who wishes to enhance his or her current health care coverage, it is best suited for adults, as it does not include pediatric dentistry or orthodontia benefits.

"To control costs, many Medicare Advantage plans have had to cut back on benefits such as hearing, dental and vision, and those extra out-of-pocket costs can be a burden on people," said Stephen P. Fera, vice president, Government Business for IBC. "BlueExtra provides many of these benefits at an affordable monthly cost, as well as additional benefits that will help keep members healthy."

IBC is offering two BlueExtra plans: Basic and Plus.

The Basic plan is $19 a month and includes the following benefits:

  • vision coverage for annual eye exams and eyeglasses (or contact lenses);
  • low copays for dental cleaning exams twice annually;
  • coverage for certain dental maintenance and surgical procedures;
  • hearing aid reimbursement.

The Plus plan is $29 a month and offers all the benefits listed above, plus enhanced vision, dental, and hearing aid benefits. Individuals who enroll in the Plus plan will also have access to added wellness benefits through IBC's Healthy Lifestyles(SM) program, such as a $150 reimbursement for fitness center membership fees, reimbursements for weight management and tobacco cessation plans, and more.

For more information about the specific benefits offered by BlueExtra or to enroll, visit or call us at 1-877-393-6733 (speech- or hearing-impaired: 1-877-219-5457).

About Independence Blue Cross
Independence Blue Cross is a leading health insurer in southeastern Pennsylvania. Nationwide, Independence Blue Cross and its affiliates provide coverage to nearly 3.3 million people. For more than 70 years, Independence Blue Cross has offered high-quality health care coverage tailored to meet the changing needs of members, employers, and health care professionals. Independence Blue Cross's HMO and PPO health care plans have consistently received the highest ratings from the National Committee for Quality Assurance. Independence Blue Cross is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. More information about Independence Blue Cross is available at

SOURCE Independence Blue Cross