Premera Blue Cross Enters Medicare Advantage Market in 2014

New suite of plans provide additional options to Medicare consumers in Washington State

MOUNTLAKE TERRACE, Wash., Oct. 1, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Premera Blue Cross today announced that it will be entering the Medicare Advantage market in 2014 with the introduction of a new suite of Medicare Advantage plans that will be available in five counties across Washington state. The new health plans have been created to appeal to a variety of consumer segments. The Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) and Health Maintenance Organization with a Point of Service (HMO-POS) plan options offer a range of affordable price points and benefit designs to meet the unique budget and healthcare needs of Medicare-eligible individuals. Premera Blue Cross Medicare Advantage Plans will initially be offered to residents of King, Pierce, Snohomish, Thurston and Spokane counties.

"Premera Blue Cross has been a trusted health plan in Washington for 80 years," said Jim Havens, vice president and general manager of Individual and Senior Markets at Premera Blue Cross. "By introducing our new Medicare Advantage plans, Premera will ensure that the thousands of Medicare beneficiaries in the greater Puget Sound and Spokane areas have access to affordable plan options and the exceptional care that generations of individuals and families have come to expect from Premera Blue Cross."

Premera's Medicare Advantage plans will be available in addition to the existing Medicare Supplement plans Premera has offered for many years, adding more health coverage options for people with Medicare in Washington. All of Premera's Medicare members have access to thousands of doctors and local hospitals.

"After meeting directly with seniors in early 2013 to better understand what they are looking for in a Medicare Advantage health plan, we believe our plans will offer the type of savings, value, and service that fit the health and lifestyle needs of seniors in Washington today," said Havens.

Premera will begin marketing the new plans starting October 1, in time for the Medicare annual open enrollment period, which runs from October 15 through December 7, 2013. During this time, seniors and others on Medicare may choose to switch their health plan or move from traditional Medicare to a Medicare Advantage Plan with plan membership effective January 1, 2014.

Medicare-eligible individuals can find specific information on Premera's 2014 Medicare Advantage plans at or by calling 1 (888) 850-8526, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week, Pacific Time.  TTY/TDD users should call 711.

About Premera Blue Cross
Premera Blue Cross is a leading health plan in the Pacific Northwest, providing comprehensive health benefits and tailored services to more than 1.4 million people, from individuals to Fortune 100 companies.  Premera is committed to providing its members peace of mind about their healthcare coverage.  The company offers innovative health and wellness solutions focused on quality outcomes for patients and controlling costs. Premera Blue Cross, which has operated in Washington since 1933, is a not-for-profit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.  Premera Blue Cross is an HMO and HMO-POS plan with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in Premera Blue Cross is dependent on contract renewal.

Premera Blue Cross is a member of a family of companies based in Mountlake Terrace, Wash., providing health, life, vision, dental, stop-loss, disability, workforce wellness and other related products and services. The family of companies employs approximately 3,000 people and provides healthcare coverage and related services to 1.7 million members. Please visit  and for more information.

SOURCE Premera Blue Cross