BlueCross BlueShield Provides Support as Medicare Advantage Deadline Looms

WNY seniors have one week to finalize 2017 coverage

BCBS offering extended call center hours and dozens of meetings for assistance

Only seven days remain in the Medicare Advantage Annual Enrollment Period, but that doesn’t mean it’s too late for Medicare-eligible seniors to find a health insurance plan that best meets their needs. BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York provides several options for seniors to gain information and enroll in plans before the Dec. 7 deadline, including extended call center hours from 8 a.m. to midnight every day.

“With changes taking place in the market, it’s important that Medicare beneficiaries take time to review their coverage," said Dave Busch, BlueCross BlueShield’s Senior Vice President, Chief Sales Officer. “There is a lot to consider, beyond a monthly premium. We encourage our seniors to contact us so we can help guide them to the plan that works best for them."

The health plan will hold 17 community meetings across Western New York over the next week, offering individuals and their family members the opportunity to walk in and meet personally with a licensed Medicare Advantage consultant to review plan options, drug coverage, and provider network participation. For a full list of community meetings please visit the Community Meetings Page.

Additionally, individuals can call BlueCross BlueShield’s dedicated Medicare Advantage number at 1-800-248-9296 (TTY 711), email, or visit for information on BlueCross BlueShield’s 2017 Medicare Advantage products.

Medicare Advantage is the portion of Medicare through which private health plans like BlueCross BlueShield provide comprehensive medical coverage to seniors and individuals with disabilities. The program is extremely popular locally, with over 50% of all Medicare beneficiaries in Western New York choosing to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan. This is significantly higher than the national average of 32%.

BlueCross BlueShield’s six Medicare Advantage products include a variety of features such as $0 preventive services, $0 medical and drug deductible, $0 gym membership to more than 12,000 fitness locations through SilverSneakers®, $0 vision and hearing benefits and access to the largest network of healthcare providers including the Kaleida Health and Catholic Health System.

Once enrolled, Medicare Advantage plans will take effect January 1, 2017.

About BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York

BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York is a division of HealthNow New York Inc., an independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association. Since 1936, BlueShield has helped millions of people lead healthier lives. BlueShield offers a full range of insured, self-insured, and government programs and services covering businesses, families, and individuals, as well as life and disability coverage, dental and vision plans and stop-loss coverage. As a community-based, not-for-profit health plan, BlueCross BlueShield contributes significantly to organizations that strengthen and enrich the health of our community.

For up-to-date news, facts, and information about the company, leadership, and industry, please visit the BlueCross BlueShield News Center at or follow us on Twitter.

BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York is a Medicare Advantage plan with a Medicare contract and enrollment depends on contract renewal.

About our BlueCross 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 BlueCross 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.

BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York complies with applicable Federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex.

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