Last Call to Enroll in Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island 2011 Medicare Advantage Plans

(Providence, RI, 12.15.2010)

December 31 marks end of annual enrollment period

The annual enrollment period to switch Medicare plans for Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI) will end on December 31. Based on new federal guidelines, changes for the upcoming 2011 plan year must be done before December 31.

BCBSRI offers four individual Medicare Advantage 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 for additional vision and hearing services, out-of-network coverage, and covers generic drugs in the coverage gap at their applicable copay.

The plans above have several programs to encourage and help Medicare members to maintain a healthy lifestyle. All BlueCHiP for Medicare members can choose to participate in "Living Fit," an unlimited-use membership at a participating health club for $15 per month. The plans also offer a wellness discount program called Blue365, which provides discounts on products and services for improving or maintaining their health, including fitness, nutrition, weight loss and LASIK. BlueCHiP for Medicare plans limit members' healthcare expenditures by having maximum out-of-pocket limits. The plans also provide personalized care coordination with BCBSRI nurses as needed, and wellness programs for asthma, COPD, diabetes and heart disease.

Based on new federal guidelines, this AEP period is the only time members can switch plans. In previous years, members were able to make changes between January and March, but that is no longer the case. Instead, the Medicare Annual Disenrollment Period is from January 1 through February 14, and members can only switch to Original Medicare and choose to enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan and/or a Medicare prescription drug plan if they are not currently enrolled in one.

BCBSRI also offers three Medicare Supplement plans and two stand-alone Medicare Part D Prescription Drug plans that are designed to supplement Original Medicare benefits.

Additional information about the Medicare Advantage or Supplement plans can be found at, or by contacting BCBSRI at 1-401-351-BLUE or visiting the Customer Service at 500 Exchange Street, Providence, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekdays.

Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island is the state's leading health insurer and covers more than 600,000 members. Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more information, visit

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