Nov 13, 2019

Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island offers 2020 Medicare Advantage benefits that prioritize healthy activity and lend a hand when needed

$0 national gym benefit, wellness reimbursement, rides to the doctor and meal deliveries designed to help customers get more health from their health plan

PROVIDENCE, RI – When designing its 2020 Medicare Advantage benefits, Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI) asked customers what they wanted in their health plan and then acted on that feedback, introducing benefits that make life easier and help customers be more active and live independently.

“Our customers told us that they wanted benefits that would allow them to stay healthy and get the most out of their retirement years,” said Melissa Cummings, executive vice president and chief customer officer at BCBSRI. “I’m thrilled that we are able to offer new and expanded benefits – many at no cost – that support staying well, but that also provide extra help when it’s needed.”

Some of the new benefits that are designed to ‘lend a hand’ and are available in all BCBSRI 2020 Medicare Advantage plans include:

  • Rides to doctor – Up to 24 one-way trips to make it easy to visit a primary care provider (PCP) or a specialist.
  • Home meal deliveries – A week’s worth of home-delivered meals following a hospital stay (up to four times per year.)
  • Hearing – No cost routine hearing tests and up to two hearing aids for as low as a $200 copay per ear, plus a three-year supply of batteries, and a hearing aid fitting and evaluation.
  • $0 mail order drugs – A $0 copay for a 90-day supply of many generic drugs in Tiers 1 & 2 delivered to customers’ doors. Excludes medical-only plans.
  • CVS Pharmacy® over-the-counter (OTC) benefit – Between $25 and $200 per quarter (depending on the plan) to use on health-related items at CVS online, by phone, or at 23 different Rhode Island locations.
  • Allowance for glasses and vision hardware – No cost annual eye exam and a $100-$200 allowance (depending on the plan) for glasses or vision hardware.
  • $0 Doctors Online visits – Telehealth platform that connects customers with top-rated, board-certified doctors from a smartphone, tablet, or computer.

Benefits designed to help customers stay healthy and well include:

  • $0 national gym benefit – Receive a $0 national gym benefit with more than 14,000 fitness centers across the country.
  • Virgin Pulse well-being program – Track steps, calories, sleep and more by downloading the Virgin Pulse® app and choosing BCBSRI as the sponsor. Connecting to a Max Buzz™ or other wearable device allows customers to easily track steps.

The BlueCHiP for Medicare Value (HMO-POS) and HealthMate for Medicare (PPO) plans offer additional wellness benefits including:

  • Wellness reimbursement of $200 a year – Can be used toward favorite healthy activities, like fitness classes, weight-loss programs, golf and more.
  • Fitness tracker – A no-cost Max Buzz™ activity monitoring device, which can be paired with the Virgin Pulse® wellness program, to increase physical activity.
  • Acupuncture – Pay just $20/visit for up to 12 visits per year.

There are a number of ways to learn more about BCBSRI’s Medicare Advantage offerings and new benefits for 2020, including:

  • Attend an information meeting: For Medicare-eligible adults looking for more information. To find a convenient meeting date and time, please visit
  • Visit a Your Blue Store℠ location:
    • Cowesett Corners, 300 Quaker Lane, Warwick
    • Highland Commons, 71 Highland Avenue, East Providence
    • Lincoln Mall, 622 George Washington Highway, Lincoln
    • *NEW* Marshalls Plaza, 1400 Oaklawn Avenue, Cranston

For more information about BCBSRI retail locations, including extended hours during the Medicare Annual Election Period (AEP), visit

  • Visit the BCBSRI mobile service unit during AEP. Follow BCBSRI on Facebook and Twitter to learn where the mobile unit will be visiting.
  • Call for information:
    • Existing BCBSRI members can call the Medicare Concierge team at (401) 277-2958 or 1-800-267-0439 (TTY: 711) – Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m. to noon (open seven days a week, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. October 1 through March 31). Automated answering service is available outside of these hours.
    • Those considering BCBSRI can call the Medicare Sales team at 1-800-505 BLUE (2583) (TTY: 711) – Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (open seven days a week, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. from October 1 through March 31). Automated answering service is available outside of these hours.
  • Read The Rhode Ahead: The Rhode Ahead for Medicare members features a variety of content relevant to BCBSRI Medicare Advantage plans.

During AEP, between October 15 and December 7, 2019, eligible adults can enroll or make changes to their Medicare plan, which goes into effect on January 1, 2020.

You must continue to pay your Part B premium. Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island is an HMO and PPO plan with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island depends on contract renewal.

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