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October 1, 2020

Announcing Medicare Advantage Product Portfolio for 2021

As the local market leader for Medicare coverage, Independent Health’s is once again committed to providing the outstanding coverage, value and customer service that Western New Yorkers have come to expect.

Buffalo, NY – 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 their medical and prescription drug plan options for the 2021 calendar year and enroll in the plan that’s best for their individual needs.

“At Independent Health, our members are at the heart of everything we do. That’s why we’re excited to be offering a comprehensive range of plan options for 2021, along with consistent premium rates and enhanced benefits,” said Cathy Aquino, director of government sales, Independent Health. “Knowing that these are challenging times, we have taken steps to help make this Medicare season both safe and easy for our members and community. If people have questions about their options or need assistance, our RedShirts℠ will be able to provide personalized attention in whatever way is most comfortable for them, whether it’s in person by appointment or connecting by phone or online. They can count on us to be here every step of the way.”

Exciting news about plan premiums

For 2021, Independent Health will continue to offer a variety of Medicare Advantage individual plans that are designed to meet members’ specific needs. This includes Independent Health’s Encompass 65® Element HMO Plan, which will now have a $0 monthly premium. The monthly premiums for all of our other HMO and PPO plans will remain unchanged.

Independent Health’s 20201 individual Medicare Advantage product portfolio includes:

  • Independent Health’s Encompass 65® Element HMO Plan: $0 monthly premium
  • Independent Health’s Encompass 65® Core HMO: $65 monthly premium
  • Independent Health’s Medicare Passport® Advantage PPO: $99 monthly premium
  • Independent Health’s Encompass 65® Basic HMO: $125 monthly premium
  • Independent Health’s Medicare Passport® Prime PPO: $215 monthly premium
  • Independent Health’s Encompass 65® HMO (no prescription coverage): $0 monthly premium
  • Independent Health’s Family Choice HMO I-SNP: $42.30 monthly premium
  • Independent Health’s Assure Advantage® HMO C-SNP Plan: $60 monthly premium

Enhancements made to the Premier Wellness Package

Independent Health’s Medicare Advantage plans will feature many of the unique and innovative benefits* that members have embraced over the years, including the Premier Wellness Package. This package is made up of benefits and services – such as preventive dental, vision and telemedicine benefits – that are designed to help members maintain a healthy lifestyle all year long. New for 2021:

  • The Premier Wellness Package will include the popular SilverSneakers® Fitness Program, which will allow members to have access to thousands of participating fitness locations nationwide, as well as workout videos and virtual exercise classes they can enjoy at home. This program will be offered at no additional cost to our members.
  • Independent Health will be partnering with American Hearing Benefits to provide an enhanced hearing aid benefit as part of the Premier Wellness Package.

Independent Health will also be introducing benefits to help Medicare members with diabetes manage their special needs, live healthier and save money. This includes new Special Senior Savings for select insulins, as well as free health coaching support from expert dietitians and diabetes educators through the Brook Personal Health Companion mobile app.

In addition, beginning January 1, 2021, the additional monthly premium for Independent Health’s Optional Supplemental Comprehensive Dental Benefit will drop from $30 to $25. By adding this benefit, members receive up to $3,000 in coverage for periodontal cleanings, root canals, dentures and more.

Meet one-on-one with a RedShirt

As in past years, Independent Health is planning to have several Medicare Information Centers** and ancillary sites** open throughout Western New York during the Medicare Open Enrollment Period. According to Aquino, Independent Health members who are happy with their current plan don’t have to do anything as they will be automatically re-enrolled. However, if anyone’s individual needs have changed or they have questions about their plan options, they have the option to meet one-on-one with a RedShirt at one of these locations.

“Since understanding Medicare can often be complicated, Independent Health has a dedicated staff of RedShirts who are always ready to provide their support and expertise, 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,” said Aquino.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, masks are required for entry into the Medicare Information Centers and ancillary sites, and safety measures will be enforced. Appointments are also recommended as there will be capacity limits. To make an appointment or to get more information on locations and current open or close status, call Independent Health or visit “Find A RedShirt” at

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. *Benefits vary by plan. **A sales person will be present with information and applications. For accommodations of persons with special needs at meetings, please call (716) 635-4900 or 1-800-958-4405 (TTY: 711).

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