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Emergency Response Devices Add Value to Medicare Advantage Plan

Anthem Medicare Advantage health plans will include a personal emergency response system as a way to add extra value.

Anthem adds value to Medicare Advantage plans through personalized emergency services

Source: Thinkstock

By Thomas Beaton

- Anthem BlueCross BlueShield plans to add value onto consumer Medicare Advantage (MA) plans by offering personal emergency response systems (PERS) to beneficiaries, the payer announced in a series of press releases.

MA beneficiaries in several states including California, Indiana, Ohio, and Wisconsin will have the option to use PERS at no additional charge.  The system will allow consumers to access emergency services at the push of a button.

MA members can wear the button on a wristband or necklace. The device allows members to contact an appropriate caregiver, clinician, or local emergency services.

Leaders at Anthem believe that the PERS systems adds value to MA plans by providing members and their families peace of mind and confidence to live independently.

“Giving our members access to a personal emergency response system is part of our continued commitment to helping our members live the life they’ve earned,” said Josh Martin, Medicare president of Anthem’s West region. “The system will help give our members the ability to maintain their independence and delay, or possibly eliminate, the need to utilize assisted living services.”

PERS operating costs, such as the unit itself, monthly monitoring and testing, and a cellular device that provides connectivity throughout the home, will also be covered. Since PERS uses cellular connectivity to connect to emergency services, the plans do not cover the cost to connect the system into a landline.

Anthem believes that comprehensive and consumer-centric benefits are a driving factor in why many of the plans have been rated by CMS with four and a half stars.

“Benefits such as the personal emergency response system are one of several reasons why Anthem Blue Cross’s HMO Medicare Advantage plans received 4.5-star ratings from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services this year,” added Martin. “We strive to offer our members what they need, when they need it.” 

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