Medicare open enrollment period

Independent Health’s RedShirts are ready to help during this year’s Medicare open enrollment period

Buffalo, NY (October 1, 2018) – With the start of the Medicare open enrollment period just two weeks away, Independent Health’s experienced RedShirts will be available at six Medicare Information Centers and other community sites throughout Western New York to help make sure people choose the Medicare plan that’s right for them for 2019.

“Our knowledgeable RedShirts have an average of 14 years of experience with Medicare and are ready to meet one-on-one with our members to help them understand their options for 2019 and answer any questions they may have about our plans,” said Cathy Aquino, director of government sales, Independent Health. “Along with continued access to outstanding customer service, our members can also expect to receive more of the same great coverage, value and stability they’ve become accustomed to over the years.”

This year’s Medicare open enrollment period will run from October 15 through December 7. During this timeframe, Medicare beneficiaries will be able to review and choose their medical and prescription drug plan options for the 2019 calendar year.

Putting more value into every plan
For 2019, Independent Health will continue to offer a variety of Medicare Advantage plans that are designed to meet its members’ specific needs. All Independent Health Medicare Advantage individual plans will once again have $0 copays for primary care physician visits, preventive services and tier 1 prescription medications, as well as the exclusive Premier Wellness Package, which includes:

  • $0 copay for routine eye exams and an eyewear allowance
  • Preventive dental coverage
  • Hearing aid benefit
  • Enhanced Annual Wellness Visit, which is a $0 preventive care service that allows members to meet with their doctor to receive a detailed exam and to create a personalized care plan
  • Gym membership at any participating facility in Western New York with a $0 activation fee in 2019
  • FitWorks® Medicare wellness program, which gives members the opportunity to earn a $50 Tops gift card for living healthy

In addition, Independent Health members will have access to a number of innovative tools and services that can help them take charge of their health and adopt healthier habits, such as:

  • Brook, a personal health companion for smartphones that helps members self-manage their overall health, as well as chronic conditions like diabetes and hypertension.
  • Zipongo®, a digital nutrition platform makes it easier for members to select, purchase and prepare healthy foods from home or on-the-go.
  • A telemedicine benefit provided through Teladoc® that enables members to talk to a doctor anytime, anywhere by phone, mobile app or online for a low copay.

Meet one-on-one with a RedShirt
As in past years, Independent Health will have several Medicare Information Centers and ancillary sites open throughout the region during the Medicare open enrollment period, including new locations in Niagara Falls and Jamestown/Lakewood. According to Aquino, more than 260,000 Western New Yorkers have received the help they need by visiting our Medicare Information Centers since they first opened in 2007. Independent Health members are encouraged to visit one of these sites to receive a personalized, one-one-one RedShirt® Benefit review.

“Understanding Medicare can sometimes be complicated, and there are often different factors one must consider before enrolling in a plan,” said Aquino. “That’s why Independent Health has a dedicated staff of RedShirts who are always here to provide their support and expertise to our members, not only during open enrollment but throughout the entire year. It’s just one of the many ways we deliver the RedShirt® Treatment and one of the many reasons why more people choose us than any other Medicare Advantage plan in Western New York*.”

Independent Health’s 2019 individual Medicare Advantage product portfolio includes:

  • Independent Health’s Encompass 65® Core HMO: $65 monthly premium
  • Independent Health’s Medicare Passport® Advantage PPO: $95 monthly premium
  • Independent Health’s Encompass 65® Basic HMO: $125 monthly premium
  • Independent Health’s Encompass 65® HMO (no prescription): $0 monthly premium
  • Independent Health’s Family Choice HMO-SNP: $39.30 monthly premium
  • Independent Health’s Assure AdvantageSM HMO-SNP: $50 monthly premium (Special needs plan designed specifically for members who have been diagnosed with both diabetes and chronic heart failure. Eligible members must also reside in Erie County.)

For more information about Independent Health’s 2019 Medicare Advantage plan options and Medicare Information Centers, visit

Independent Health is a Medicare Advantage organization with a Medicare contract offering HMO, HMO-SNP, HMO-POS and PPO plans. Enrollment in Independent Health depends on contract renewal.

*Per CMS WNY enrollment data 9/2018.