Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Emphasizes Better Health through New Medicare Advantage Plans in Ohio, Provider Collaboration, Extra Benefits

MASON, Ohio–(BUSINESS WIRE)–As Medicare’s primary sales season gets under way, Anthem Blue Cross and
Blue Shield (Anthem) is emphasizing better health in Ohio through
provider collaboration agreements and new Medicare Advantage plans with
extra benefits.

This includes provider collaboration plans in some areas as well as
expanding Dual-Eligible Special Needs Plans (DSNPs) for people eligible
for both Medicare and Medicaid. Anthem Medicare Advantage (MA) plans
continue to offer significant benefits not available in Original
Medicare, including dental and vision coverage and online doctor’s

“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 David McNichols, president of Anthem’s Medicare central

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

Expansion plans / changes. Anthem is expanding its $0 premium MA
Medicare Dual-Eligible Special Needs Plan, also known as a DSNP, called
Anthem MediBlue Dual Advantage (HMO SNP), and its $0 premium MA
traditional HMO plan called Anthem MediBlue Plus (HMO) in the following
six Ohio counties: Allen, Ashtabula, Champaign, Clark, Mercer and
Richland. Like existing Anthem special needs plans in the state, the
DSNP includes dental and vision coverage, some transportation to
doctor’s appointments, some over-the-counter drug costs and a fitness
program, all at no extra cost. Unlike most plans, people who qualify for
a DSNP have a continuous Special Election Period, which means they can
elect a new plan at any time throughout the year.

Anthem also has reduced the copayments for visits to participating
primary care physicians on most of its Ohio MA plans to encourage
members to take advantage of preventive care and wellness benefits.

Provider collaboration. To improve member health and lower member
costs, Anthem continues to implement provider collaboration agreements.
To date, Anthem has about 2,650 Ohio medical providers participating in
Medicare provider collaboration agreements, covering more than 50,000 of
its members.

Online doctor’s visits. LiveHealth Online (LHO) telehealth will
continue to be available in Anthem’s Ohio MA plans. LHO allows members
to access board-certified doctors through their computer or mobile
device, and will include a behavioral health benefit effective Jan. 1,
2016. With this additional benefit, members can generally choose a
qualified mental health expert and schedule a counseling session in
advance to be held during available hours. (Those in crisis should call
911). Both seeing a doctor and counseling visits are available at $0
copay to eligible members.

More $0 generics. Anthem is enhancing its Medicare pharmacy
benefits in 2016. 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. Anthem also has several PDP
plans that offer certain generics in the coverage gap for a $0 copay.
Anthem has nearly 900 preferred pharmacies in Ohio, including
CVS/pharmacy, Giant Eagle, Kroger, Target and Wal-Mart (Sam’s Club).
Additionally, Anthem has added the following pharmacies to its preferred
network: Akron Health Mart Pharmacy, Community Pharmacy, Diabetic Care
Services and Pharmacy, Kahler Pharmacy, Lifecare Pharmacy, Salem
Pharmacy, Southside Pharmacy, St. Elizabeth’s Pharmacy, The Hometown
Pharmacy and The Pharmacy at Eastway.

In addition to MAPD plans, Anthem offers Medicare Supplement plans and
standalone PDP plans across all Ohio 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,” McNichols said.

For details about Anthem Medicare plans in your area, call (855)
878-1109 or visit Anthem’s Medicare online store at
Anthem will be holding educational events and home visits throughout
AEP. Anthem-affiliated agents will be available at some locations of the
following retailers this year: CVS/pharmacy, Giant Eagle and Kroger.
Days and hours vary.

Anthem is a PPO plan, an HMO plan and a PDP 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 Community
Insurance Company, an 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 Ohio
is available at
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Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Ohio
Doug Bennett Jr., (502)