Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island Introduces New Medicare Advantage $0 Premium Health Plan for the Medicare Market

(Providence, RI, 10.3.2011)

Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI), the state's leading provider in the Medicare market, introduces a new Medicare Advantage $0 premium plan to complement their other high-quality BlueCHiP for Medicare options. With five BlueCHiP for Medicare plans to choose from, Medicare beneficiaries can choose or switch their Medicare Advantage plan for the upcoming 2012 plan year during Medicare's Annual Enrollment Period from October 15, 2011 to December 7, 2011.

"For the over 183,000 Medicare beneficiaries in our state, choosing a health plan is a very personal and important decision, and careful consideration must be made when choosing the type of coverage that is right for you," said Ray Brown, BCBSRI's assistant vice president of Government Programs. "Our newest plan, BlueCHiP for Medicare Value, has no monthly premium and includes prescription drug coverage. While this plan is a great option, it may not be suitable for all beneficiaries, which is why we offer four additional individual Medicare Advantage options, including three with Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage."

While BlueCHiP for Medicare Value does not have a monthly premium, it does require members to pay copayments and coinsurances when using any in-network Medicare-covered Part A and Part B services. This plan also has an out-of-pocket maximum that protects against large medical expenses by capping the total amount a member could pay in a year. Additionally, BlueCHiP for Medicare Value provides out-of-network coverage—a great benefit for those who like to travel out-of-state—and prescription drug coverage.

In addition to the new plan, BCBSRI offers four individual BlueCHiP for Medicare plan options, including three with Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage:

  • BlueCHiP for Medicare Core offers more benefits than Original Medicare but does not include prescription drug coverage.
  • BlueCHiP for Medicare Standard with Drugs delivers the same benefits as BlueCHiP for Medicare Core and includes Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage.
  • BlueCHiP for Medicare Plus offers lower copayments, prescription drug coverage and additional vision services.
  • BlueCHiP for Medicare Preferred provides additional vision and hearing aid coverage as well as out-of-network coverage and covers generic drugs in the coverage gap at their applicable copayment.

All five plans encourage and help Medicare members maintain a healthy lifestyle. All BlueCHiP for Medicare members can take advantage of the following benefits:

  • Living Fit, an unlimited-use membership at a participating network health club for $15 per month
  • Blue365, a wellness discount program that provides discounts on products and services for improving or maintaining health, including fitness, nutrition, weight loss and LASIK
  • Personalized care coordination with BCBSRI nurses as needed
  • Wellness programs for asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes and heart disease

"The best way to determine which plan is right for you is to call us, attend an informational event or visit our office to talk to a BlueCHiP for Medicare representative," said Brown. "Our attentive associates, who are local and understand the Rhode Island healthcare market, can help you determine the right plan based on your needs."

In addition to the five BlueCHiP for Medicare plans, BCBSRI offers three Medicare Supplement plans and two standalone Medicare Part D Prescription Drug plans that are designed to supplement Original Medicare benefits.

BCBSRI is hosting meetings about our Medicare options throughout the state in October, November and December. Interested individuals may call or visit to identify specific dates, times and locations for local meetings.

Additional information about the Medicare plans can be found at or by calling 1-855-690-2583 "my0blue" or 401-459-5550. Sales representatives are available seven days a week from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. The BCBSRI Customer Service walk-in area at 500 Exchange Street in downtown Providence is open Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island is the state's leading health insurer and covers more than 600,000 members. The company is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more information, visit and follow us on Twitter @BCBSRI.

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