Company also expands service area to offer more Medicare beneficiaries

(Portland, Ore.) – As the annual election period for Medicare nears, Regence is ramping up its efforts to educate Medicare beneficiaries about their options. New to the company’s portfolio is Regence MedAdvantage + Rx Core, which offers solid medical and prescription drug benefits at a lower monthly premium.

MedAdvantage is a PPO that Regence offers as part of the federal Medicare Advantage program. Regence MedAdvantage provides richer benefits than Original Medicare, which include a large PPO network with assured access, lower out-of-pocket costs, a dental benefit and routine vision. It is the most popular and fastest growing plan in Regence’s Medicare portfolio, which offers a suite of options that include Medicare Supplements, Medicare Advantage and Part D prescription plans.

With Regence MedAdvantage + Rx Core, there is no deductible for medical care and services or for prescription drugs. There are moderate copays/coinsurance for prescription drugs, before and after the coverage gap. The difference is that medical coverage has higher out-of-pocket costs and the leaner benefit has no vision or dental benefits. This cost-saving option will be offered alongside Regence MedAdvantage + Rx Classic and Regence MedAdvantage + Rx Enhanced, which offer a richer level of benefit for a higher monthly premium.

“Members in our community have been highly satisfied with Regence MedAdvantage, but we recognized that some members want to stretch their health care dollar even further,” said Cary Badger, vice president of Market Development for Regence.

“We are responding with Regence MedAdvantage + RxCore, which offers a lower premium and the solid medical benefits they’ve come to expect from this popular product.”

The annual election period for Medicare runs from November 15 to December 31, 2008, offering Medicare beneficiaries the chance to sign up for the first time or switch to a new plan. Regence will conduct a series of free seminars throughout the state, where Medicare beneficiaries can learn more about MedAdvantage and Medicare Part D, have their questions answered and receive assistance with enrollment.

The company is also expanding its service area to four new counties in Oregon. Regence MedAdvantage is currently available in Benton, Clackamas, Clatsop, Columbia, Hood River, Jackson, Josephine, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, Marion, Multnomah, Polk, Wasco, Washington and Yamhill counties, as well as Clark County, Washington. New this year will be Coos, Curry, Douglas and Tillamook counties.

Regence will hold educational seminars throughout these service areas from October to December. Registration is required. Medicare beneficiaries may call 1-888-REGENCE (1-888-734-3623) or visit for more information or to register for a seminar. TTY users may call 1-800-382-1003.

Some upcoming seminars include, but are not limited to, the following:

Oct. 8 1:00 p.m. East Portland Community Center 740 SE 106th
Oct. 13 1:30 p.m. Portland Adventist Medical Center 10123 SE Market St.
Nov. 14 10:00 a.m. Good Samaritan Hospital 1040 NW 22ndSt.
Bldg. 2
Nov. 24 10:00 a.m. Portland Adventist Medical Center 10123 SE Market St.
12:30 p.m. East Portland Community Center 740 SE 106th

About Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon
Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon is a leading health plan in Oregon, with nearly one million members, offering health, life and dental insurance. Regence is the largest health insurer in the Northwest / Intermountain Region, serving three million members as Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon, Regence BlueShield (in Washington), Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah and Regence BlueShield of Idaho. Each plan is a not-for-profit independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Regence is committed to improving the health of our members and our communities, and to transforming our health care system. For more information, please visit