ALBANY, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Empire BlueCross and Empire BlueCross BlueShield (Empire) announced today new wellness services that will be offered in many of the company’s 2020 Medicare Advantage plans. As part of its commitment to helping consumers improve their health and well-being, Empire is giving its members the option of 10 wellness services to choose from, including nutritional support, a fitness device and member engagement programs, service animal support, and pest control. Empire recognizes that these types of social and support services can be drivers of good health, are important to Medicare-eligible consumers, and can be key factors when individuals make enrollment choices in this year’s Medicare annual election period.
The Essential Extras package, which contains the 10 service choices, will be offered to consumers enrolled in select counties in the following 2020 Medicare Advantage plans: Empire MediBlue Select (HMO), Empire MediBlue Dual Advantage Select (HMO D-SNP), and Empire MediBlue Extra (HMO).
“When we looked at the underlying medical, behavioral, and environmental obstacles our members face, we designed a menu of wellness services that aim to help members lead healthier lives,” said Tomas Orozco, President of Empire’s Medicare division. “Our 2020 benefits will help remove hurdles to healthier living for our Medicare Advantage members – from nutrition counseling and fitness tracking to pest control and service dog support – by offering the health plans’ social and support benefits.”
Members who are enrolled in the Medicare Advantage plans that have the Essential Extras package will be able to select one of the 10 services listed below, at no extra cost. Members should consult their Evidence of Coverage document for specific benefit details as benefits may vary by plan.
- Healthy Nutrition: Based on qualifying clinical criteria, access to eight (8) sessions per year with a dietitian who can provide nutritional education support as well as monthly delivery of pantry staples (nonperishable items) to help make dietary changes. (New in 2020)
- Pest Control: Quarterly preventive treatments to regulate or eliminate the intrusion of household pests that may impact a chronic condition. (New in 2020)
- Health and Fitness Tracker: The member is provided a fitness tracker device as well as membership in programs to promote improved physical and mind fitness. (New in 2020)
- Service Dog Support: Up to $500 annual allowance to help pay for items used to care for a member’s service dog, such as leashes and vests. The dog must be certified under the Americans with Disabilities Act. (New in 2020)
- Healthy Food Deliveries: Up to 16 delivered meals four times each calendar year (64 total) to support members who are either discharged from an overnight stay at a hospital, have a Body Mass Index (BMI) more than 25 or less than 18, or has an A1C level more than 9.0.
- Transportation: Up to 60 one-way trips per year to health-related appointments or to obtain a service covered by the health plan.
- Personal Home Helper: Up to 124 hours of an in-home personal care aide for assistance with activities of daily living such as dressing, grooming, & bathing.
- Assistive Devices: Up to a $500 allowance for safety devices such as ADA toilet seats, shower stools, hand-held shower heads, and reaching devices.
- Day Center Visits: Up to one (1) visit per week for adult day center services, in order to help older adults who need supervision and assistance.
- Alternative Medicine: Up to 24 acupuncture and/or therapeutic massage visits each calendar year.
Individuals who are interested in joining one of these health plans can enroll during this year’s Medicare Annual Election Period (AEP). The AEP begins October 15, 2019, and continues through December 7, 2019 and gives consumers enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B the opportunity to sign up for Empire’s 2020 Medicare Advantage plans.
For more details about these health plan benefits and Empire’s Medicare plans, consumers can call (855) 878-1107, which is available 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, April 1 to Sept. 30; and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week, Oct. 1 to March 31. Individuals can also visit the company’s online store at https://shop.empireblue.com/medicare.
Empire BlueCross is an HMO plan with a Medicare contract. Empire BlueCross is an HMO DSNP plan with a Medicare contract and a coordination of benefits agreement with the New York State Department of Health. We do not discriminate, exclude people, or treat them differently on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability in our health programs and activities. 注意：如果您使用繁體中文，您可以免費獲得語言援助服務。請致電1-888-230-7338（TTY：711）。 ATENCIÓN: Si habla español, tiene a su disposición servicios gratuitos de asistencia lingüística. Llame al 1-888-230-7338 (TTY: 711). This plan is available to anyone who has both Medical Assistance from the State and Medicare.
About Empire BlueCross and Empire BlueCross BlueShield
Empire BlueCross (Empire) is the trade name of Empire HealthChoice Assurance, Inc. and Empire BlueCross HMO is the trade name of Empire HealthChoice HMO, Inc. independent licensees of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, serving residents and businesses in the 28 eastern and southeastern counties of New York State. Additional information about Empire is available at www.empireblue.com. Also, follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/EmpireBCBS and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/EmpireBlueCrossBlueShield.