Welcome to insurance talk was Cheri Martinen. Today, I have some special guests here with me. Autumn Edwards and Dara Smith, both from Regence, Medicare. They drove all the way to La Pine to record with me today. I am so excited because Regence has done wonderful things in our community and it’s great to have them here to discuss plans for 2022 for our Medicare customers.
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Regence has been active in our communities now for a couple years doing great things. We were just talking about Meals on Wheels literally before I pushed play. So tell us all the great things you guys are doing.
At Regence, we have healthcare that works for everyone. Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oregon has proudly served Oregonians for 80 years as a local taxpaying nonprofit health plan. We believe that everyone should have access to affordable quality care. We’re here today to discuss the range of high value Medicare coverage options that Regence has to offer for 2022 that meet diverse care needs, budgets and lifestyles. We are committed to the State of Oregon, we have spent a great deal of time giving back to our communities. For example, I live in Portland and site on the board for Meals on Wheels in Portland. I can tell you that it has opened my eyes to some of these additional needs that seniors have in our communities.
Some of the really great things that Regence is doing to hep our members is to age in place. That’s all about aging with dignity and aging in their own home. So we’ve offered a log of really great benefits to help do that. For instance, we have something called Papa’s Pals which is a program where college students with sociology and gerontology degree that will help our seniors learn to use their computers, help with telehealth appointments or other techie thins that they may need assistance with. Maybe they want their groceries delivered but don’t know how to get started. Our members can get assistance with all of that for no additional charge to them. We also have a program called Mom’s Meals where we provide meals to our members at no charge if they have a chronic condition.
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With so much our population having a chronic condition in today’s day and age, we also offer personal emergency devices. So even if you can’t see your children on a regular basis, because maybe your health might be constrained, they can still have peace of mind to know that you’re still safe. These devices have GPS on them, so if you are out walking your dog, or there is an accident in the Thriftway parking lot, you can rest assured that it will be alright because they can simply push a button to call for help. It’s all about aging in place. That’s why within the next year we will include bathroom safety devices for the many accidents that happen in the bathroom at home. Things like shower bars and chairs, lifted toilets, etc.
Additionally, all of our Regence Medicare Advantage Plans include alternative care benefits. This includes acupuncture, chiropractic care massage, even natural path. We have an independent network of practitioners for all of our members to choose from. Further, we have a no-cost silver and fit membership. This provides members with access to thousands of fitness centers nationwide. And, because there is currently a limited number of activities happening at fitness centers due to health restrictions, we also offer a wide variety of home fitness options. These include complimentary kits with options to get a Fitbit or Garmin fitness tracker, activity kits for yoga, strength training or pilates. And, even here in La Pine there are places that accept the silver and fit. So don’t think just because we’re small that we don’t have local options, we do. Additionally, because of COVID we’re offering you to gym hop. Meaning, you could go to a different gym every single day and go back and forth between open gyms as you like.
Now, we don’t normally jump right into cost right away, but this year Regence had a reduction in price. They’ve lowered their price for an HMO to only $35 a month for the 2022 plan year. In addition to the lower monthly cost, there is also a flat copay for radiology which before was 20%., but the question was always 20% of what? Now you don’t have to question it, there is no thinking its just a flat copay. In addition to that, there is also an insulin savings program which means you can get your insulin for $35 a month, no deductible. And, it goes through the donut hole at $35 a month which is big for anyone that goes into the donut hole. You know how much it can otherwise spike…this is huge!
No more deciding whether to get groceries or your medicine, we don’t want anyone to have to have that conversation. We are also covering some lifestyle medications and vitamins. They will be under tier one which means it’s a $0 copay at our preferred pharmacies or through the mail.
The plans do include vision and dental at no additional charge. Existing dental plans have already included preventative services which is two cleanings, periodontal cleanings and an x-rays, but this year the plan is even a bit better as it includes diagnostic exams. So let’s say you go to the dentist and say your mouth is hurting and they determine you need a filling. The exam is covered under preventative services. Now, if you want that filling replaced there is a really inexpensive option that is only $24 a month that provides you with a thousand dollars worth of coverage each year, 50% coverage. So the filling would be the patient pays $50 and Regence pays $50. Or, let’s say you need an implant, you pay a thousand, Regence pays a thousand. So it makes the thousand dollars of coverage go much further. The plan also includes dentures.
Vision is also still included. Regence gives a hundred dollars for frames, but the eye exam and basic lenses are included. Which means there is no reason to not get an eye exam.
In Deschutes County, Regence has an exceptional network size. Which means you can likely continue going to the doctor that you like. The plan also comes with low cost virtual care options as an additional way to access care. Particularly during this time that we’re in right now, no cost in network, preventative care. But, Regence still allows access to providers in say Portland or Salem if something is major is needed.
Regence also has exceptional Oregon based customer service. Meaning if you want to call and talk to somebody about your bill or a local healthcare facility, you can. It’s really nice to have somebody local in our time zone to speak with. They are the most caring, compassionate, educated, informed group of people that actually want to build relationships with the members.
There is also and app and an online platform where members can access medication lists and formularies to see if they are covered. Members can also access their explanation of benefits, setup reminders or alerts for upcoming procedures such as it’s time for a flu shot or mammogram. The app is easily accessed from a computer or cell phone. The Regence app can be located in the app store of your Apple or Android phone.
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