Now that the Medicare annual enrollment period is here (running until December 7), Medicare beneficiaries have the opportunity to select their Medicare coverage for a January 1, 2016 effective date.

Independent Health will continue to offer a variety of plans in 2016 that are designed to meet our Medicare Advantage members’ individual needs, including Independent Health’s Network Advantage® HMO Plan. Available to residents of Erie or Niagara counties, the Network Advantage plan is designed to lower our members’ out-of-pocket costs, while continuing to make the coordination of their care more effective.

Providing more value with every plan

All of our Medicare Advantage plans come with additional benefits to help our members maintain an active, healthy lifestyle. For example:

• Through our Healthy Benefits fitness benefit, members can join a participating fitness location of their choice. This membership is good for one calendar year and includes access to all the amenities of each participating facility—treadmills, free weights, fitness classes and more. Finding ways to get exercise as you get older is a smart and easy way to stay fit and improve your health. Regular exercise can help to boost heart health, maintain a healthy body weight, keep joints flexible and healthy, and improve balance to minimize falls. Joining a gym is a great way to get exercise. A list of all Healthy Benefits participating fitness facilities is available in the “Find a Medicare Provider” section at Members are required to pay a $20 activation fee to the fitness facility.

• Our members can receive more than 25 preventive care services and screenings* at no additional cost when performed by an in-network/participating health care provider, including a colonoscopy, mammogram, immunizations and an annual well visit with their primary care doctor. Through preventive services and screenings, serious medical conditions can be detected and treated early, thus increasing survival rates, improving quality of life and lowering long-term costs. A complete list of services that have a $0 copayment can be accessed on the “2016 Medicare Plans” page under “Additional Plan Benefits” at

• New in 2016, all Independent Health Medicare Advantage plans will provide vision coverage, including routine eye exams and an allowance toward eyewear (benefits vary by plan).

• Most of our Medicare Advantage plans will continue to offer preventive dental coverage, including routine exams, cleanings and x-rays.**

• We will be expanding our benefits to include worldwide urgent care coverage at urgent care centers or walk-in clinics in addition to our worldwide emergency room care. As a result, members who get sick or have an emergency outside of Western New York can rest assure that the care they need is covered with all of our plans. In addition, our provider network will include all hospitals and pharmacies across the Western New York region.

“In 2016, Independent Health Medicare Advantage members can expect to receive more of the same great coverage and benefits they’ve become accustomed to, as well as have continued access to outstanding customer service from our friendly and knowledgeable RedShirtsSM,” said Linda Carr, vice president, government sales, Independent Health.

We’re here to help

If you would like to learn more about our 2016 Medicare Advantage plans, visit our website at You can also speak one-on-one with a RedShirt at an Independent Health Medicare Information Center.***

If you’re an Independent Health member and are happy with your current Medicare Advantage plan, you don’t have to do anything and you will be automatically reenrolled for 2016. If you want to change plans or have any questions, call us at (716) 635-4900 or 1-800-958-4405 (TTY users call 1-888-357-9167), Monday through Sunday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

*Separate office visit copays may apply. There may be other services performed in conjunction with preventive care services. These other services will be subject to any applicable member liability per your contract. Not all preventive services are medically appropriate every year. Independent Health uses the frequency guidelines adopted by CMS and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.

**Excludes Independent Health’s Medicare Family Choice HMO-SNP plan.

***A sales person will be present with information and applications. For accommodations of persons with special needs at sales meetings, please call (716) 635-4900 or 1-800-958-4405 (TTY users call 1-888-357-9167).

Independent Health is a Medicare Advantage organization with a Medicare contract offering HMO, HMO-SNP, HMO-POS and PPO plans. Enrollment in Independent Health depends on contract renewal.

This information is not a complete description of benefits. Contact the plan for more information. Benefits, premiums and/or copayments/coinsurance may change on January 1 of each year. The pharmacy network and/or provider network may change at any time. You will receive notice when necessary. Limitations, copayments and restrictions may apply. Members must continue to pay their Medicare Part B premium if not otherwise paid for under Medicaid or by another third party.

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