BlueShield Provides Seniors Options for 2016 Medicare Advantage Enrollment Period

October 15 – December 7 window for seniors to switch or enroll in 2016 coverage

With the annual Medicare Advantage enrollment window officially open, tens of thousands of Northeastern New York seniors can re-evaluate their options and enroll in a plan that best meets their needs. BlueShield of Northeastern New York has announced a range of options for seniors to choose from, as well as the support they need to make the most educated decision.

Medicare Advantage is the portion of Medicare through which private health plans like BlueShield provide comprehensive medical coverage to seniors and individuals with disabilities.

“Seniors continue to choose Medicare Advantage for the better benefits, lower out-of-pocket costs, and higher quality care these plans provide.” Said Dr. Kirk Panneton, Regional Executive and Medical Director, BlueShield of Northeastern New York.

BlueShield’s four Medicare Advantage products include a variety of features such as $0 preventive services, $0 gym membership to more than 12,000 fitness locations through SilverSneakers®, $0 community health and wellness classes, and the support of more than 250 nurses and health and wellness professionals. Additionally, seniors can access a national network of physicians and hospitals with a card that is recognized worldwide.

Individuals can choose the best Medicare Advantage and prescription drug coverage plan for their health care needs during the October 15 – December 7 open enrollment period. Once enrolled, their new plan will take effect January 1, 2016.

“It’s important for individuals to revisit their Medicare Advantage plans each and every year," added Panneton. "There is a lot to consider, but that’s why we’re here. We encourage our seniors to contact us so we can help guide them to the plan that works best for them."

BlueShield provides a number of outlets and resources for individuals to have their questions answered and enroll in a plan.

Community meetings are held across the Capital Region every day, and offer individuals and their family members the opportunity to walk in and meet personally with a licensed Medicare Advantage consultant. For a full list of community meetings please visit BlueShield’s meeting website.

Additionally, individuals can call BlueShield’s dedicated Medicare Advantage number at 1-877-258-7453 (TTY 771) or visit to schedule an in-home meeting or for more information.

About BlueShield’s benefits and premiums

This information is not a complete description of benefits. Contact the plan for more information.

Benefits, premium, and/or copayments/coinsurance may change on January 1 of each year. Limitations, copayments, and restrictions may apply. The formulary, pharmacy network, and/or provider network may change at any time. You will receive notice when necessary. Eligible beneficiaries must use network pharmacies to access their prescription drug benefit, except under non-routine circumstances, and quantity limitations and restrictions may apply.

About enrollment

Individuals must have both Parts A and B to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan. Individuals may enroll in a plan only during specific times of the year. There are additional enrollment guidelines. Contact BlueShield for more information.

About our partners

SilverSneakers® is a registered mark of Healthways, Inc. Healthways is an independent company that administers the SilverSneakers® gym benefit.