Beginning this year, the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period dates are changing. If you are Medicare eligible, you will now be able to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan or switch your Medicare coverage between October 15, 2011 and December 7, 2011 for a January 1, 2012 effective date.

To make sure that Western New Yorkers are well-informed when it comes to their Medicare coverage, Independent Health has once again opened several Medicare Information Centers* throughout the region that are staffed by our friendly and helpful RedShirtsSM. In addition to our year-round sites in Cheektowaga/Depew and Orchard Park, we have four conveniently-located centers that are available through the Annual Enrollment Period.

RedShirt Benefit Review

Stop by one of our Medicare Information Centers where we’ll help you find the Medicare Advantage plan that is right for you through our exclusive RedShirt Benefit Review. A RedShirt will meet with you one-on-one to discuss your specific needs and walk you through our Medicare Advantage plan offerings, including $0 monthly premium plans that are available with and without prescription coverage. After meeting with a RedShirt, you’ll feel confident that you have the plan that fits your individual needs.

Independent Health will offer consistent rates
and quality benefits in 2012

Great news! The monthly premium rates for most of Independent Health’s Medicare Advantage individual plans will remain the same for 2012. In fact, the monthly premium for Independent Health’s Encompass 65® HMO without prescription drug coverage is being reduced from $6 to $0.

We will continue to offer a variety of affordable plans that are designed to meet specific needs, such as $0 monthly premium plans that include the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit, as well as PPO options.

As an Independent Health Medicare Advantage plan member, you can take advantage of the SilverSneakers® Fitness Program benefit and enjoy great health and wellness benefits such as a fitness club membership—at any participating location throughout the country – and signature classes designed specifically for adults like YogaStretch, SilverSplash® and Cardio Fit. All at no cost to you!

In addition, many of our plans will continue to include the following benefits**:

• No referrals needed to participating providers.

• $0 copayment for preventive services such as mammograms, cholesterol screenings colonoscopies and annual physicals.

• $0 copayment for over 30 preferred generic drugs that are used to treat conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, reflux, glaucoma and osteoporosis, among others.

• Comprehensive vision coverage, including $0 copayment for routine eye exams.

• Preventive dental services, including up to two exams and cleanings a year.

Assisting EPIC members

If you’re currently enrolled in New York State’s Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage (EPIC) Program and have questions about your options in 2012, we encourage you to speak to one of our RedShirts. We would also be happy to review your medications with you to determine if there are opportunities for you to maximize your prescription savings.

“By giving seniors access to information relevant to their needs, we have found them to be sophisticated health care purchasers in assessing cost, service, quality and benefits that best fit their situation,” said Linda Rehrauer, Director of Government Sales. “Our Medicare Information Centers provide even greater access and convenience to seniors seeking information on the various Medicare plan options.”

Independent Health’s Medicare Information Centers are open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the following locations:

Valu Plaza
(Across the street from Wegmans)
620 Dick Road

Niagara Falls
Wegmans Plaza
1637 Military Road

Youngmann Plaza
(B.J.’s Wholesale Plaza)
746 Young Street

Independent Health
66 Chautauqua Avenue

Orchard Park
Tops Plaza
(Near Tim Horton’s)
3223 Southwestern Boulevard

Independent Health’s Customer Service Center
250 Essjay Road

Please note: Our RedShirts will be also be onsite at the Dale Association in Lockport on Wednesdays and Fridays.

We’re here to help!

If you any questions about Independent Health’s Medicare Advantage plans or Medicare Information Centers, our RedShirts can be reached at (716) 635-4900 or 1 (800) 958-4405, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (February 15-October 14) and Monday through Sunday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (October 15-February 14). TDD users: 1 (800) 432-1110.

A Medicare Organization with a Medicare contract.

*A sales representative will be present to assist with information and applications. For accommodations of persons with special needs at sales meetings, please call (716) 635-4900 or 1 (800) 958-4405, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (February 15-October 14) and Monday through Sunday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (October 15-February 14). TDD: 1 (800) 432-1110.

**Benefits vary by plan. The benefit information provided herein is a brief summary, not a comprehensive description of benefits. For more information, contact the plan. Benefits, formulary, pharmacy network, premium and/or copayments/coinsurance may change on January 1, 2013.