Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia Expands Medicare Advantage Offerings to 30 New Counties in Georgia

Expansion Will Give People Eligible for Medicare More Choices for Their Health Care Needs

ATLANTA, Oct. 10, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia (BCBSGa) is expanding its Medicare Advantage (MA) offerings to 30 new counties in Georgia, resulting in more health care options for people eligible for Medicare. The plans, which combine Original Medicare with additional benefits, can be purchased during Medicare's Annual Election Period (AEP), running from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7 of this year.

The expansion includes the establishment of a new Local PPO that includes the following counties: Appling, Bibb, Bryan, Butts, Chatham, Cherokee, Cobb, Dekalb, Douglas, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Harris, Henry, Jeff Davis, Jones, Liberty, Long, Meriwether, Montgomery, Muscogee, Newton, Paulding, Peach, Rockdale, Spalding, Talbot, Toombs, Twiggs and Wayne.

BCBSGa will offer a number of different plans in these counties with a variety of price points and benefits. BCBSGa even offers a new easy-to-use online plan that increases benefits by reducing administrative expenses. Plans purchased during the open enrollment period will be effective Jan. 1, 2012.

"This expansion is part of one of the largest ever for our senior business and indicates our continuing commitment to providing affordable health care solutions to the people of Georgia," said Morgan Kendrick, President, BCBSGa. "We proudly serve thousands of seniors here, and will be celebrating our 75th year in business next year – we are proud to be a part of the state's business community."

Nationwide, more than 12 million seniors are enrolled in Medicare Advantage (MA) plans. 88 percent of them are satisfied with the quality of care they get, according to a 2008 survey from America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP). The plans combine Medicare Parts A (hospital) and Part B (medical coverage) into one convenient package run by a private insurance company. The plans can include additional benefits, and can be paired with a Part D plan to include drug coverage. They may include additional premiums.

"Baby Boomers are redefining retirement," said Krista Bowers, president of BCBSGa's senior business. "Our MA plans give them the support they need to continue their active lifestyles, including wellness programs, broad networks, out-of-pocket maximums and benefits when traveling."

Additionally, BCBSGa now offers optional supplemental benefits (OSBs) on all its Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plans (MAPD) in Georgia. For an additional premium, OSBs provide benefits that might not be covered in a MAPD plan, including dental, vision and chiropractic/acupuncture services.

For more information about MA, MAPD and Medicare Supplement plans as well as optional supplemental benefits and the Internet plan in Georgia, visit BCBSGa's online store at www.bcbsga.com/medicare where visitors can learn about products, compare plans, get a quote and even enroll in the plan that best suits their needs. Additionally, interested parties can contact an insurance broker or call toll free (866) 834-8467 (TTY/TDD 711) from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week.

Medicare has neither reviewed nor endorsed this information.

Benefits may change on January 1, 2013. The benefit information provided herein is a brief summary, not a comprehensive description of benefits. For more information contact the plan.

About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia, Inc. and Blue Cross Blue Shield Healthcare Plan of Georgia, Inc. are independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association®. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Additional information about Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia is available at www.bcbsga.com. Also, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/healthjoinin, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HealthJoinInBCBSGa, visit our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/healthjoinin or check out the Our Health Connects Us campaign site at http://connects.bcbsga.com/.

SOURCE Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia

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