Blue Cross to Offer Second Option for Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage

Insurer keeps low-premium option and adds enhanced option to product line 

Medicare beneficiaries will have a second choice in Medicare Part D plans from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana beginning Jan. 1, 2012.

The company has lowered the cost of its existing prescription drug plan, now called RxBLUE Basic PDP, and added an enhanced plan called RxBLUE Plus PDP. The Basic plan features a reduced premium and a basic formulary of commonly prescribed Medicare Part D drugs. The Plus plan premium will be higher, but it covers all Medicare Part D-approved drugs, has no deductible and offers more coverage in the gap. Both plans feature low-cost generic drugs and a statewide pharmacy network that includes most major chains.

“We understand that one size doesn’t fit all,” said Brian Keller, Blue Cross senior vice president and chief marketing officer. “Our customers want options. So we went back to the drawing board and came up with two very different plans to fit their prescription needs and budgets.”

The annual enrollment period for Medicare Part D began on Oct. 15 and ends on Dec. 7, 2011. During this period, Medicare beneficiaries may sign up for or change their prescription drug coverage. Blue Cross members who make no changes during the annual enrollment period will automatically be enrolled in the RxBLUE Basic PDP in 2012.

“We encourage our members to review their Annual Notice of Change carefully to see which plan is right for them,” said Keller. “Our customer service representatives are ready to answer any questions our members might have about these two options.”

Call center hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week, by phone at (888) 223-2583 (TTY (800) 947-5277). RxBLUE PDP information can also be found online at www.bcbsla.com/rxblue.

Free personal counseling is also available to Louisiana Medicare recipients from the State Health Insurance Information Assistance Program (SHIIP) and other local and community-based organizations. The toll-free number for Louisiana’s SHIIP office is (800) 259-5301.

About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana
Founded in New Orleans in 1934, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is the oldest and largest Louisiana-based health insurance company. Blue Cross is a private, fully taxed mutual company, owned by policyholders—not shareholders—and governed by a local Board of Directors. It is a Medicare-approved Part D sponsor and an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

The company provides group and individual health insurance plans, life and disability insurance, group voluntary products and administrative services to more than 1.3 million members. With headquarters in Baton Rouge and eight district offices, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana employs more than 1,900 Louisianians who are committed to improving the lives of its customers by providing them with health guidance and affordable access to quality care.

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