Press Release

IU Health Plans reduces cost barriers to care for Medicare Advantage members

October 18, 2022

INDIANAPOLIS – Medicare beneficiaries gain access to significant new lower-cost benefits through Medicare Advantage plans from IU Health Plans in 2023, including much-needed reductions in costs for patients battling kidney disease.

Medicare-eligible residents in the 51 counties served by IU Health Plans can enroll in the Medicare Advantage plans during the annual enrollment period of Oct. 15 – Dec. 7, with benefits effective Jan. 1, 2023.

For the coming-year offerings, IU Health Plans and doctors at Indiana University Health designed a specific plan for those in Central Indiana with chronic kidney disease, including end-stage renal disease. People with kidney disease often face high costs that inhibit them from obtaining proper care. The new plan lowers financial barriers to care by eliminating the $35 copay for nephrology visits and the 20%, or $850 a month, Medicare coinsurance for dialysis and offering no-cost transportation to medical appointments. Through better care coordination, the plan is designed to delay the progression of kidney disease, reduce reliance on using the emergency room and hospital for care, and optimize quality of life.

The new benefits for kidney disease, woven into a health insurance product, are believed to be unique or among a few such plans in the nation, and aim to make inroads against the devastating condition in a state that ranks seventh highest for kidney disease mortality, said Dr. Brent Miller, a nephrologist at IU Health. “We intend to negate the financial barriers that make it difficult for our patients to get the care they need. This will improve lives of patients with kidney disease, which disproportionately affects minorities and the poor.”

Enhancements to the other IU Health Plans’ 2023 Medicare Advantage plans include:

• A $100 reduction in the $165 monthly Medicare Part B premium charged by the federal government in 2023. This will save an individual $1,200 a year (and a couple $2,400 a year) and is available in most counties served by IU Health Plans.

• A zero deductible for all prescription drugs, especially helpful for those with chronic conditions.

• A zero premium plan design extended to an additional 22 counties where the premium currently is $19 a month.

• An increase in a quarterly allowance for over-the-counter items.

“These are very tangible savings to consumers and align with IU Health’s efforts to make healthcare more affordable and our members healthier,” said Stephanie Motter, president of IU Health Plans.

The new Medicare Advantage savings are part of a concerted price affordability push across the Indiana University Health system to rein in rising healthcare prices and combat health disparities, with the goal of improving the health of Hoosiers. IU Health has committed to reduce prices for

employers and patients by $1 billion after inflation from 2021 to 2026, with actual first-year savings topping $120 million.

Through its Medicare Advantage plans, IU Health Plans provides healthcare coverage to about 15,000 Hoosiers in 51 counties. IU Health Plans is the only health plan available that is led by IU Health physicians and is consistently rated as one of the top health plans in Indiana.

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