AP NEWS

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield and Walmart Collaborate to Give Consumers Increased Access to Everyday Health-Related Products

November 13, 2018

ST. LOUIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov 13, 2018--Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Missouri (Anthem) will be working with Walmart to give 2019 Medicare Advantage (MA) plan consumers the ability to purchase over-the-counter (OTC) medications and health-related products through Walmart’s multiple shopping options, including in-store and online, using the OTC allowance available through many of its MA plans. In addition, consumers enrolled in a 2019 Anthem MA plan that offers the option of an assistive device benefit will be able to purchase home safety items, such as shower grab bars and elevated toilet seats, through Walmart due to its comprehensive merchandise selection.

“Anthem strives to develop meaningful products and solutions that create a better healthcare experience for our consumers as well as improve their health and well-being,” said David McNichols, President of Anthem’s Medicare Central Region. “This initiative combines Anthem’s deep understanding of the needs of older adults with Walmart’s unwavering commitment to saving people money and developing a seamless shopping experience. We believe this agreement can make a significant difference for Medicare-eligible consumers who often live on a fixed income, manage chronic conditions, or both.”

Anthem will also significantly increase the OTC allowance for many of its 2019 Medicare Advantage health plans to as much as $340 per quarter. Individuals enrolled in Anthem’s 2019 Medicare Advantage plans will be able to use this increased benefit to purchase OTC medications and health-related products, such as first aid supplies, support braces, and pain relievers.

The Anthem-Walmart program, launching in January 2019, and the increased OTC allowance are expected to reduce healthcare costs for individuals because both will help give consumers the ability to purchase more items through their health plan benefits since Walmart is dedicated to offering products at low prices. This may lead individuals in Anthem’s MA plans to buy fewer items on their own.

This collaboration is also designed to give people improved access to health-related products covered under Anthem’s MA plans since more than 90 percent of Americans live within ten miles of Walmart’s more than 4,700 stores. Individuals have the option of shipping purchased items to their home or a nearby store when they shop on Walmart.com or use an app designed for this program.

These types of benefits can be important to older adults who seek more value for their money. According to the Social Security Administration, nearly a quarter of married seniors and four out of 10 unmarried older adults rely on their Social Security benefit, which averages just over $1,400 a month, for at least 90 percent of their income.

The following 2019 Anthem Medicare Advantage health plans will have an over-the-counter allowance at the amounts shown for individuals to purchase OTC items:

Anthem MediBlue Plus (HMO): $90 per quarter Anthem MediBlue Dual Advantage (HMO SNP): $340 per quarter Anthem MediBlue Access (PPO): $25 per quarter

Consumers with health coverage through Anthem MediBlue Plus (HMO) and Anthem MediBlue Dual Advantage (HMO SNP) will also have the ability to select an assistive device benefit that will give them an allowance of $500 to purchase items that may prevent accidental injuries or falls at home, including hand-held shower heads, reaching devices, and temporary wheelchair ramps.

Anthem believes consumers will see the value in shopping at Walmart to purchase the health-related products covered under their health plans – given the retailer’s commitment to value – but if an individual wants to use a different retailer, the company will have other shopping choices available that may better meet his/her needs.

For details about Anthem’s Medicare plans, consumers can call (855) 866-4236, which is available 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, April 1 to Sept. 30; and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week, Oct. 1 to March 31. Individuals can also visit the company’s online store at https://shop.anthem.com/medicare.

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is an HMO plan with a Medicare contract. Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is a HMO DSNP plan with a Medicare contract and a contract with the Missouri Medicaid program. Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is an LPPO plan with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield depends on contract renewal. This information is not a complete description of benefits. Contact the plan for more information. We do not discriminate, exclude people, or treat them differently on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability in our health programs and activities. 注意:如果您使用繁體中文,您可以免費獲得語言援助服務。請致電1-888-230-7338 TTY:711)。ATENCIÓN: Si habla español, tiene a su disposición servicios gratuitos de asistencia lingüística. Llame al 1-888-230-7338 (TTY: 711). This plan is available to anyone who has both Medical Assistance from the State and Medicare.

About Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield

In Missouri (excluding 30 counties in the Kansas City area) Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is the trade name of RightCHOICE® Managed Care, Inc. (RIT), Healthy Alliance® Life Insurance Company (HALIC), and HMO Missouri, Inc. RIT and certain affiliates administer non-HMO benefits underwritten by HALIC and HMO benefits underwritten by HMO Missouri, Inc. RIT and certain affiliates only provide administrative services for self-funded plans and do not underwrite benefits. Independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. Additional information about Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Missouri is available at www.anthem.com. Also, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/anthemBCBS and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AnthemBlueCrossBlueShield.

View source version on businesswire.com:https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20181113005097/en/

CONTACT: Anthem Blue Cross

Hieu Nguyen, 202-510-8848

hieu.nguyen2@anthem.com

KEYWORD: MISSOURI NORTH AMERICA UNITED STATES

INDUSTRY KEYWORD: GENERAL HEALTH RETAIL INSURANCE PROFESSIONAL SERVICES HEALTH DEPARTMENT STORES

SOURCE: Anthem Blue Cross

Copyright Business Wire 2018.

PUB: 11/13/2018 07:05 AM/DISC: 11/13/2018 07:05 AM

http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20181113005097/en

AP RADIO
Update hourly