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Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Maine and National Council on Aging Provide Vital Benefits Information to Economically Challenged Older Adults

Tuesday, December 8, 2009 Senior Health News J E 4
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SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine, Dec. 7 Times are tough for a lot of people these days, but for many Maine senior citizens living on fixed incomes, times are even tougher.

But thanks to an innovative online service sponsored by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Maine and developed by the National Council on Aging (NCOA), helpful information including access to the federally funded Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly the federal food stamp program, is just a few mouse clicks away.

BenefitsCheckUp® can be accessed by visiting www.benefitscheckup.org and is one of nation's most comprehensive Web-based services that helps individuals, most with limited income and resources, determine if they qualify for benefits programs to help them pay for food, health care, prescription drugs, rent, utilities and many other needs.

BenefitsCheckUp® tracks 2,000 benefits programs throughout all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Since its launch in 2001, more than 2.3 million seniors have used BenefitsCheckUp® to determine their eligibility for benefits valued at more than $7 billion.

"We realize that in these tough economic times an increasing number of our Medicare members have to make difficult choices," said Krista Bowers, president of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield's Senior business. "Our goal is to help keep our members healthy by making them aware of the resources available to help them pay for food, health care, rent, utilities and other basic needs. By sponsoring NCOA's BenefitsCheckUp® we are not only responding to their health needs, but acknowledging and providing a solution to their social needs."

"This relationship with Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is making a difference in the lives of older adults in Maine," said Stuart Spector, NCOA senior vice president. "We are confident that through this association many more Medicare eligible beneficiaries will gain access to the benefits they need."

About NCOA

The National Council on Aging is a nonprofit service and advocacy organization headquartered in Washington, DC. NCOA is a national voice for older Americans--especially those who are vulnerable and disadvantaged--and the community organizations that serve them. It brings together nonprofit organizations, businesses, and government to develop creative solutions that improve the lives of all older adults. NCOA works with thousands of organizations across the country to help seniors find jobs and benefits, improve their health, live independently and remain active in their communities. For more information, visit www.ncoa.org.

About Anthem

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Maine is the trade name of Anthem Health Plans of Maine, Inc., an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. ®ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Additional information about Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in New Hampshire is available at www.anthem.com.

SOURCE Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Maine
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