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IBX Insights

Medicare Advantage Users Guide: Getting Started

By February 23, 2018September 13th, 2021Health Insurance Medicare Member Resources

Whether we’re helping a new Independence Blue Cross Medicare member or a renewing one, my Customer Service team and I always take a few minutes to review the different steps they can take to help ensure they are getting the most from their health plan. For anyone we haven’t had a chance to speak with yet, here’s a noteworthy list of our top tips.

Explore your Welcome Kit

So, you selected or renewed your Medicare Advantage plan. What’s next? Within the first month of your plan’s effective date, we sent out your member Welcome Kit. It’s a soup-to-nuts guide to your plan coverage. If you didn’t receive yours (or you misplaced it), contact us and we’ll send another.

Among the many things in your Welcome Kit, one of the most important is your Evidence of Coverage booklet. It explains how your plan works, how to get coverage for the services you need, and how much you’ll pay for services (your cost-share amounts). Basically, this booklet is the key to using your plan — so, be sure to keep it in a safe place.

Your Welcome Kit also includes information about the different ways you can save money and protect your health, including:

  • $0 preventive care benefits
  • Network providers and facilities
  • SilverSneakers®, a fitness program available to members at no added cost
  • Hearing aid reimbursements
  • Health management programs (Personal Health Visits, Health Coaches, and Condition Management)

Save on Rx

If your plan includes Part D coverage, there are a couple of ways you may be able to save money on your prescriptions:

  1. Switching to generics. Ask your providers if generic versions of your prescriptions are available and if they might be right for you.
  2. Signing up for mail order. If you take maintenance or long-term medications, sign up for mail order delivery. It is a convenient and money-saving way for you to order a 90-day supply of your medications for the cost of a 60-day supply and have them delivered to your home.

Stay informed

While our Customer Service Team is ready to help, there are additional tools and resources you can use to stay up-to-date:

  • Member portal — Register for and you can check on a claim, find a network provider, even look up a formulary drug, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • IBX WireTM — Sign up to receive secure text message on your smartphone, including coverage information, discounts, and health reminders (like when it’s time to get a flu shot). Text IBX WIRE to 73529 to get started. Have your member ID card handy — you’ll need your member ID number from the front of the card to sign up.*
  • Update magazine — Read about a variety of topics ranging from recipes to informative stories on common health issues to detailed information about Medicare plans. View the latest issue.
  • Social media — Join the Medicare conversation on our Facebook page and stay current on our latest health and benefit videos on our YouTube.

But wait, there’s more!

I know this may seem like a lot, but there’s more. I encourage you to visit, click on the For Members button in the upper right side of the page, and browse through all the resources, services, and programs available.

And as always, if you have any other questions, feel free to call your Member Help Team at the number listed on the back your ID card, and we will be happy to assist you.

This article was originally published on LinkedIn.

*Standard message and data rates may apply. Text STOP to stop and HELP for help. Terms and conditions available at Notification messages within IBX Wire are sent via automated SMS. Enrollment in IBX Wire is not a requirement to purchase goods and services from Independence Blue Cross. Wire is a trademark of Relay Network, LLC., an independent company.

The SilverSneakers® fitness program is provided by Tivity Health, Inc., an independent company.


Melissa Zonies

About Melissa Zonies

As Manager of Performance and Administration within the Government Markets department at Independence, I play a key role in the overall customer experience for our senior members. I collaborate with my peers and Medicare associates to understand issues and identify opportunities for improvement. Whether directly or indirectly through my team, I take pride and enjoy assisting and simplifying the Medicare world for the senior population.