ALBANY, N.Y.-- Empire BlueCross and Empire BlueCross BlueShield (Empire) are committed to giving consumers access to high-quality, affordable health care while reducing their out-of-pocket costs. As part of that commitment, Empire is offering new Medicare Supplement plans to New York residents who have Original Medicare. Original Medicare – also known as Medicare Part A and Part B – doesn’t cover many common health care costs, such as copayments and deductibles, often leaving consumers with significant health care expenses. Empire’s Medicare Supplement plans offer coverage for these items and, as a result, reduce consumers’ out-of-pocket costs for their health care. “Empire strives to meet the health care needs of consumers with innovative products and services that help them lead healthier lives,” said Tomas Orozco, President of the company’s Medicare East Region. “We know that health care costs are of great concern for older adults so we aim to deliver services that minimize their out-of-pocket costs while ensuring they receive the highest quality care.” New York consumers will be able to enroll in Empire’s Medicare Supplement Plans A, B, F, G, and N beginning July 1, 2018. Medicare Supplement Plans A, B, F, G, and N cover many of the gaps in Original Medicare, with some coverage differences between plans. For example, Plans A, B, F, G and N cover coinsurance and hospital costs associated with Medicare Part A. However, Medicare Supplement Plans F, G, and N cover the coinsurance for skilled nursing facility care but Plans A and B do not. Coinsurance is the percentage of health care costs a consumer is responsible for once they’ve met their plan deductible. An additional benefit of Medicare Supplement plans is there are no provider networks. This means consumers have the freedom to see any care provider who accepts Medicare patients. Empire also will give people enrolled in these Medicare Supplement plans a membership to SilverSneakers®, at no cost. SilverSneakers helps millions of aging seniors and older adults take greater control of their health by engaging participants in more frequent exercise, strength training, aerobics, and flexibility training through a variety of venues and programming. Consumers can compare the different coverages available in Medicare Supplement plans by going to resources such as Medicare.gov or Empire’s website. Medicare Supplement plans are sold by private companies, such as Empire, have premiums, and require participation in Medicare Parts A and B. Empire is part of Anthem, Inc., one of the nation’s leading health benefits companies, with more than 74 million consumers served by its affiliated companies, including nearly 40 million within Anthem’s family of health plans. And, in New York, Empire serves nearly 4.7 million consumers. For more information about Empire, visit www.empireblue.com. SilverSneakers® is not insurance and may be discontinued at any time. The SilverSneakers® Fitness Program is provided by an independent company. About Empire Empire BlueCross (Empire) is the trade name of Empire HealthChoice Assurance, Inc. and Empire BlueCross HMO is the trade name of Empire HealthChoice HMO, Inc. independent licensees of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, serving residents and businesses in the 28 eastern and southeastern counties of New York State. Additional information about Empire is available at www.empireblue.com. Also, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/EmpireBCBS_News and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AskEmpire.