CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — As the Nov. 15 start date for enrollment in Medicare Advantage plans approaches, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee announces its expanded family of Medicare plans for 2007. Choices include three Medicare Advantage plans with medical and Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage, as well as a medical-only plan. Also in 2007, BlueCross will offer three different prescription drug plans that can be used with Original Medicare, or Original Medicare and a Medicare Supplement plan.

The plans known as BlueAdvantage™ and BlueRx™ are designed to help Medicare beneficiaries in Tennessee save on their medical costs while providing them choices that fit their budgets and health care needs.

“We’ve met with seniors and disabled beneficiaries all across the state, getting input on how to better address their needs. We’ve learned that not everyone needs or wants the exact same coverage and that’s why we’ve more than doubled our plan choices for next year,” said Sylvia Sherrill, vice president of Medicare Advantage for BlueCross.

According to Sherrill, BlueAdvantage plans for 2007 include enhanced benefits and lower premiums compared to last year’s options.

The newest options to the 2007 family of Medicare Advantage products are the stand-alone Part D plans. BlueRx features no deductibles, convenient copays for covered drugs, and two plan options with a formulary that includes all Medicare Part D approved drugs.

“Medicare eligibles across the country have benefited from the Medicare reforms, especially prescription drug coverage,” Sherrill noted. “We’re pleased to be able to add this new stand-alone option to our comprehensive suite of Medicare products.”

In a recent survey conducted by America’s Health Insurance Plans, two-thirds of Medicare enrollees indicated their belief that the passage of the Medicare prescription drug plan was a good idea and 70 percent of Part D enrollees would recommend that others sign up for the drug coverage.

Each year seniors have the opportunity to change their Medicare Advantage plan without any penalties. Enrollment for 2007 begins Nov. 15 and ends Dec. 31.

“No matter what plan Medicare-eligible Tennesseans chose last year, or if they did not make a choice, they should evaluate if their needs are being met by their current coverage and review all their options for next year,” said Sharon Dicorato, senior manager of Medicare sales for BlueCross. “Whether or not they select a BlueCross plan, it’s important for them to understand their options and to take advantage of the savings and benefits of the Medicare reforms.”

Medicare beneficiaries interested in learning more about BlueCross Medicare Advantage plans can call 1-800-292-5146 or (TTY/TDD) 1-877-664-6422. 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday-Friday or visit www.bcbst-medicare.com.

About BlueCross

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee's mission is to provide its customers and communities with peace of mind through affordable solutions for health and healing, life and living. Founded in 1945, the Chattanooga-based company is focused on reinventing the health plan for its 3 million members in Tennessee and across the country. Through its integrated health management approach, BlueCross provides patient-centric products and services that drive health improvement and positively impact health care quality and value. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Inc. is an independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association. For more information, visit the company's website at www.bcbst.com.