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Medicare Advantage plans: What’s new for 2018 

October 3, 2017    

For 2018, Independence will introduce a new Medicare Advantage benefit product as well as changes to our existing products.

New Medicare Advantage product

In addition to Keystone 65 Focus HMO, Keystone 65 Preferred HMO, Keystone 65 Select HMO, and Personal Choice 65SM PPO, Independence is offering a new Medicare Advantage HMO benefit product for 2018.

The new plan — Keystone 65 Basic HMO — offers the following:

  • $0 monthly premium
  • prescription drug coverage
  • optional hearing, vision, and dental coverage
  • coverage for routine medical exams, screenings, and preventive care
  • worldwide coverage for emergency and urgent care

Referrals are no longer needed to see a specialist

We asked our members for suggestions on how to make their experience as an Independence Medicare Advantage member better, and the resounding response was the elimination of referrals. As a result, effective for dates of services on or after January 1, 2018, we will no longer require any Medicare Advantage HMO members to obtain a referral from their primary care physician (PCP) when they need to see a specialist. This includes Keystone 65 Focus HMO, Keystone 65 Preferred HMO, Keystone 65 Select HMO, and Keystone 65 Basic HMO members.

PCPs will still need to direct Medicare Advantage HMO members to their capitated site for certain services (i.e., laboratory, radiology, occupational therapy, and physical therapy). In addition, providers are still required to obtain precertification/preapproval for certain services prior to rendering services for all Medicare Advantage members.

Additions to the Preferred Pharmacy Network

Medicare Advantage members can still take advantage of lower copayments for many prescriptions when filled at a preferred pharmacy. In addition to including independent pharmacies and major retail chain pharmacies, the Preferred Pharmacy Network is expanding to include Wegmans and Sellersville Pharmacy retail locations.

Other news

BlueExtraSM, our freestanding supplemental plan, is being discontinued effective December 31, 2017; however, Independence offers other options for adult dental and/or vision coverage. These plans provide flexibility and covered services to maintain good oral and vision health.

For more information on Independence Medicare Advantage plans, members can call 1-800-645-3965 for Keystone 65 HMO or 1-888-718-3333 for Personal Choice 65 PPO.

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