Independent Health to temporarily close its Medicare Information Centers due to surge in COVID-19 cases in WNY

After closely monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic, Independent Health has decided to temporarily close its five Medicare Information Centers throughout Western New York beginning November 30, 2020.

“The health and safety of our members and our associates remain our highest priorities. As such, even with our extensive safety protocols and procedures, and out of an abundance of caution, we believe it is most prudent to temporarily close our information centers and concentrate on meeting our Medicare members’ and customers’ needs over the phone or video conference,” said Cathy Aquino, director of government sales, Independent Health.

To reach a Medicare RedShirtSM about plan options or to schedule a video conference, individuals should call (716) 635-4900 or 1-800-958-4405, (TTY users call 711), Monday thru Sunday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Independent Health will continue to monitor and evaluate the prevalence of the pandemic before determining when to re-open its Medicare Information Centers, which are located at:

  • 620 Dick Road, Depew, NY 14043
  • 150 Tech Drive Amherst, NY 14221
  • 746 Young Street Tonawanda, NY 14150
  • 3225 Southwestern Blvd, Orchard Park, NY 14127
  • 66 Chautauqua Avenue, Lakewood, NY 14750

For Medicare beneficiaries, this is currently the Annual Enrollment Period, which concludes on December 7. During this time, Medicare beneficiaries are able to review their medical and prescription drug plan options for the 2021 calendar year and enroll in the plan that is best for their individual needs.

Current members in a Medicare Advantage plan will be automatically renewed for 2021, so they can rest assured they are covered next year without having to do anything, explained Aquino.

“At Independent Health, our members are at the heart of everything we do. Knowing this is an important time period for them, we want to ensure the remainder of this enrollment period is safe and easy for our members and community. If people have questions about their coverage options or need assistance, our RedShirtsSM will continue to be able to provide the same personalized attention by phone or online,” said Aquino.

Independent Health is a local market leader for Medicare coverage with over 66,000 members. Independent Health was recently named to U.S. News & World Report’s annual list of the best health insurance companies offering Medicare Advantage coverage in 2021. This is the second consecutive year Independent Health received this honor from U.S. News & World Report. The company was also recognized as a 4.5 Star Rated Medicare Plan by CMS for 2021. This marks the 11th consecutive year that Independent Health’s Medicare HMO plan has received a 4.5 Star Rating and the sixth straight year that its Medicare PPO plan has achieved this rating.