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Medicare Plan To Offer Alternative Care Option

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The Blue Cross Blue Shield Northern Plains Alliance has agreed to use discount programs developed by American Specialty Health Inc..

The alliance represents 7 Blue Cross and Blue Shield carriers that have joined to sell Medicare managed care coverage and Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage to residents of Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming.

American Specialty, San Diego, will be supplying benefits through the alliance’s free MedicareBlue Values program.

Alliance Medicare drug and managed care plan members will be able to get discounts on care from chiropractors, acupuncturists, massage therapists and other providers in a network managed by American Specialty’s American Specialty Health Networks Inc. unit.

Plan members will be able to get discounts on purchases of nutrition bars, dietary supplements, tobacco cessation tools and other health and wellness products through American Specialty’s HealthyRoads unit.

The HealthyRoads unit also will sell membership in exercise clubs, weight-management clubs and other wellness clubs to alliance Medicare plan members for an added fee, American Specialty says.