Re-lining empty pockets

Unique plan gives money back to seniors

Times are tight for seniors. With the recent roller-coaster ride on Wall Street, seniors watch helplessly as their stock market investments and retirement savings evaporate. Retirees find the plug pulled on their pension plans. Winter heating costs will soon bite into already dwindling household incomes.

That’s why more and more seniors need a health care plan that actually works for them. Fidelis Care, one of the largest health plans offering government-sponsored programs in New York state, has lowered costs in its 2009 Medicare Advantage programs to save seniors money and has even introduced a new plan that provides a partial refund of the Plan B premium each month.

Fidelis Medicare Advantage Part B Reduction provides Medicare Advantage benefits with a twist: Each month, an extra $36.50 will be added to members’ Social Security checks, or $438 over the course of a year.

“We think this product is unique in the marketplace,” said Gary Bona, Fidelis Care Medicare director. Fidelis Medicare Advantage Part B Reduction “completes our portfolio very nicely to complement people’s financial and medical needs.”

Seniors these days tend to take better care of themselves and lead more active lifestyles. The Part B Reduction plan tends to favor seniors with fewer medical needs, said Bona. “Seniors who don’t use a lot of Medicare services and want extra money in their Social Security checks would benefit from this product,” he said.

On occasions when seniors enrolled in the Part B Reduction plan do require health care services, they can expect competitive, low co-pays for primary care physician (PCP) and specialist visits. The Part B Reduction plan charges $5 and $20 copays, respectively. For medical care requiring hospitalization, the Part B Reduction plan charges $900 for inpatient stays. It also features prescription drug coverage with a $2 generic copay.

“The Part B plan provides good, solid Medicare coverage,” said Bona. “Our focus in this plan design was to offer a product with the security of low PCP and specialist copays and $0 copays for preventive services like bone mass measurement, mammograms, and prostate cancer screening while putting
money back in the pockets of those who need some extra cash. So, for seniors less prone to illness or injury, and who like that little extra financial incentive, this plan certainly has its appeal.”

For those looking for high-quality Medicare coverage, Fidelis Medicare Advantage features low copays and lower out-of-pocket costs than traditional fee-for-service Medicare. Key benefits include a $0 monthly plan premium, $0 PCP and specialist copays, the freedom to choose doctors and hospitals, free annual physical exams and routine vision and hearing tests. The program is also available with Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage, featuring a low $1 copay for generic prescription drugs through
the coverage gap. Fidelis Medicare Advantage also provides funds through its Flex benefits, such as dental, eyewear, health club membership, acupuncture and many other Medicare services that are normally not covered. Another plan, Fidelis Dual Advantage, is available to those who are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid coverage.

Fidelis Care Medicare Advantage representatives make it as easy as possible to apply. Representatives will make a home visit or meet individuals at a convenient location in the community or even at the local coffee shop. Online enrollment is also available by visiting www.fideliscare.org. Call 1-800-860-8707 (TTY: 1-800-558-1125) to learn more about how Fidelis Care is working on behalf of local seniors.

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