Thursday 8 December 2022
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Vets Helping Vets: A New Medicare Plan Targeting Needs of Veterans

In the Community: A Excellus BlueCross BlueShield News release

Karen Bodley_Excellus BCBS. Photo provided.

Excellus BlueCross BlueShield will offer a Medicare Advantage plan in 2023 targeting the needs of local veterans.

“We all know how important it is to honor the service of local veterans,” said Karen Bodley, vice president, Medicare. “It’s also important to have health coverage that meets their needs and pairs well with existing U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs coverage – at no extra cost to them.”

In addition to $0 premiums and low copays for doctor visits, Medicare Blue Choice® Freedom (HMO-POS) includes:

  • $0 copays for behavioral health visits
  • 12 one-way rides* annually to health-related locations at no cost, *50-mile limit per ride.
  • $35 Part B monthly premium refund
  • Access to an expansive network of doctors and hospitals 

What our veterans told us

Before deciding on plan benefits, Medicare employees at the Health Plan asked co-workers who served in the military for their perspectives on gaps in care faced by them and/or their fellow veterans.

The employees’ feedback was clear: Veterans could benefit from more access to care, more help with transportation, and more coverage for behavioral health. 

Rob Contestabile_Excellus BCBS. Photo provided.

 “We’re here for our community members – to be advocates,” said Rob Contestabile, Rochester, a veteran and a competitive intelligence analyst. “It’s important to recognize the service of our veterans, and offer them a benefit that makes a difference.”

Although Medicare Blue Choice Freedom (HMO-POS) was designed with veterans in mind, anyone Medicare eligible can enroll in the plan.

Other improvements to Medicare

In addition to new benefits for Medicare Blue Choice Freedom (HMO-POS), Excellus BCBS also added enhancements to its other 2023 Medicare Advantage plans: 

  • A new $19 PPO plan with access to doctors locally and nationwide
  • New $500 Flex Card to use toward dental, vision and hearing costs
  • Lower cost sharing and reduced premiums
  • $0 copays for preventive dental services, including exams, cleanings and X-rays
  • Comprehensive dental benefits with a $1,000 annual allowance  
  • Annual eyewear allowance of $125 or more depending on the plan

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