Vets helping vets: A new Medicare plan targeting the needs of veterans

Edward Byrnes

Friday, October 14, 2022

Vets helping vets: A new Medicare plan targeting the needs of veterans

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, Excellus BCBS 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 BlueSalute (PPO) includes:

? $0 copays for behavioral health visits
? 12 one-way rides* annually to health-related locations at no cost
? $35 Part B monthly premium refund
? Access to an expansive network of doctors and hospitals
Visit for more.

What our veterans told us
Before deciding on plan benefits, Medicare employees at the Health Plan asked co-workers whoserved in the military for their perspectives on gaps in care faced by them and/or their fellowveterans.
The employees’ feedback was clear: Veterans could benefit from more access to care, more help
with transportation, and more coverage for behavioral health.

“We not only talked about behavioral health, access, but also cost,” said Rick Jennejahn, Syracuse, a veteran and a director of pharmacy innovation for Excellus BCBS. “If a veteran can’t get what they need at the VA, oftentimes they’ll go without because they can’t afford to pay to go somewhere else.”

Although Medicare BlueSalute (PPO) was designed with veterans in mind, anyone Medicare eligible can enroll in the plan.


Excellus BCBS: A new Medicare plan targeting the needs of veterans—page 2
Other improvements to Medicare
In addition to new benefits for Medicare BlueSalute (PPO), 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 $150 or more depending on the plan
For more information, please visit
*50-mile limit per ride.


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