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Press Release

Only two weeks remain in Medicare open enrollment

Posted on: 23 Nov 17

BIRMINGHAM, Ala., Nov. 22, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Medicare recipients need to act now to pick their plans for 2018.  The open enrollment period closes December 7.  This enrollment period is usually the only chance Medicare recipients have each year to choose a new health plan — either switching between traditional Medicare and a private Medicare Advantage plan, changing from one Medicare Advantage plan to another, or adding or changing prescription drug coverage.

Medicare Advantage plans like Viva Medicare cover all the benefits of traditional Medicare, typically offer additional benefits, and usually include prescription drug coverage.  Extra benefits that Viva Medicare offers next year beyond traditional Medicare include allowances for dental care and fitness center membership. Unlike traditional Medicare, Medicare Advantage plans cap the amount of yearly out-of-pocket costs members pay for medical care, and most charge set copays for doctors' visits and hospital stays. 

Medicare recipients should visit to review their coverage choices for next year.  The website shows the health plan choices by zip code, the health plans' Medicare quality ratings and their monthly premiums, copayments, deductibles, and the network of hospitals, doctors and other providers from whom a member can seek care.  Plans change every year, so even Medicare recipients happy with their current coverage should study their 2018 choices.

For next year, Medicare recipients in Alabama can choose a Medicare Advantage plan named as one of the country's best by U.S. News & World Report.  Viva Medicare is the only Medicare plan in Alabama to make the prestigious 2018 ranking.  Viva Medicare's ranking is based off the overall quality score it earned from Medicare. 

For 2018, Viva Medicare earned 4.5 out of 5 stars from Medicare on its Medicare quality performance, the first and only Alabama-based health plan to achieve that distinction.  The score is based on 48 different quality measures that illustrate everything from customer service to how well the health plan helps its members stay healthy. 

"Medicare expects much more of health plans than simply making sure members have coverage when they get sick or have an accident," said Dr. Tara  Bryant, Viva's chief medical officer. "We are charged with being true partners in members' health – reminding them to get their flu shots or mammograms, making sure those with chronic conditions stay on their medicines and overall helping members have a good experience with the health care system."

For the eighth consecutive year, Viva Medicare has earned the top customer satisfaction survey score in the state, according to the Medicare & You handbook.

"Quality and customer service are two of our biggest strengths," said Brad Rollow, Viva's CEO.  "We are an Alabama-based company that has spent the last 22 years making sure we deliver the best coverage possible to our members at an affordable price to help improve the health of our community."

Viva Medicare is expanding into Northwest Alabama for 2018 and will offer health plans in Lauderdale, Colbert and Franklin Counties as well as the 24 counties it currently serves.  The Viva Medicare network includes 60 hospitals and more than 7,000 doctors and other providers across Alabama as well as worldwide emergency coverage.  

As part of its customer service, Viva has six retail locations across Alabama, known as Viva Health "Cafés" and a welcome center at its corporate headquarters in downtown Birmingham.  These sites are far more than a sales location – they are resources to Viva members throughout the year where they can attend health-related events and seek answers if they have questions about their coverage. 

Viva Medicare is taking calls every day from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., except Thanksgiving, through the end of Medicare's open enrollment period on December 7th.   To accommodate any last minute enrollment requests, they will be open until midnight on December 7th.   Medicare recipients can call 1-888-830-8482 (TTY call 711) to have their questions answered or to enroll with the plan.  

About Viva Health:

Founded in 1995, Viva Health has a contract with the federal government to offer Medicare Advantage plans in 27 counties in Alabama and is licensed by the state to offer employer-sponsored coverage in 59 counties.  Part of the UAB Health System, Viva Health has more than 46,000 Viva Medicare members and provides or administers health benefits to more than 55,000 members in employer group health plans. Viva Medicare has earned the top customer satisfaction survey score in the state for the past eight years in the Medicare & You handbook and was recently named by U.S. News & World Report as one of the best Medicare Advantage health plans in the country. Viva Health is headquartered in Birmingham, and customer service questions are answered by employees in Alabama. 

Contact: Anna Velasco – or 205-558-7641 for photos or an interview with a Viva representative

Editor's Details

Mike Wood

Last updated on: 23/11/2017

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