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New Wellness Seminars Bring Answers Straight to New Jersey’s Seniors



This summer, Horizon’s Medicare members can get valuable advice on staying healthy and safe at no-cost events right in their own communities.

“There’s nothing more important than your health.”

The further you get into your golden years, the more this phrase rings true.

But Medicare is complicated and getting accurate, easy-to-understand information from reliable sources can be a challenge. That’s why Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey (BCBSNJ) is holding a series of Wellness Education Seminars across the state in August for members interested in better understanding Medicare plans and options. Featuring presentations from Horizon Medicare experts, law enforcement and local county senior services, these seminars give seniors at or near the age of Medicare eligibility the chance to get their health, wellness and other questions answered.

Launched in spring 2019, the seminars have already drawn hundreds of curious members. Ninety-seven percent found the information presented to be valuable – the same number who would recommend these events to their friends.

“Horizon is New Jersey’s health insurer. We know New Jersey because we live here, too. We know our members because they are our friends, our neighbors and our family. These seminars are just one way we’re helping our members understand how to choose the right coverage for them and how to get the most out of their Medicare plan,” said Len Kudgis, director of marketing and outreach for government programs at Horizon BCBSNJ.

Across New Jersey, Horizon BCBSNJ offers seniors a variety of supplemental Medicare plans Each is designed to keep out-of-pocket costs low for benefits and services that original Medicare does not cover. In addition, Horizon also offers Medicare Advantage plans that include in one policy comprehensive coverage for doctors, hospitals, prescriptions and other services essential to achieving your best health.

Here’s a sampling of topics that Horizon Medicare members can expect to find at upcoming sessions:

Feeling safe and secure. Protecting your money, ID and privacy from scammers are big concerns for seniors, says Keith Peifer, vice president for Medicare services and chief Medicare officer at Horizon BCBSNJ. Representatives from county sheriff offices and Horizon’s own data security teams will offer strategies to help seniors stay safe on the internet and in everyday life.

“Issues around safety can cause a lot of stress, which in turn can impact a person’s physical health,” says Peifer. “It’s important for us to give our members tools and solutions that help them feel confident, safe and secure.”

Local senior service representatives may also be on hand to talk about their programs, such as Project Lifesaver. Available in many communities, this service offers wristbands to seniors with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease so they can be located and found should they get lost or go missing.

Coping with chronic disease. Managing illnesses like diabetes can take a toll on patients and their caregivers. Physicians will provide updates on the latest therapies, and nurses will be available to perform A1c blood sugar and Body Mass Index screenings at no cost to members.

Managing multiple medications. It’s not uncommon for older New Jerseyans to be taking a half dozen or more medications, which can be confusing and expensive to the patient. Horizon’s pharmacy teams will educate members on how to keep track of their prescriptions, including how to use generic drugs, mail-order programs and preferred pharmacies to keep costs under control.

Getting the most out of Horizon benefits. Brief presentations on topics ranging from using the Horizon Blue app to finding in-network doctors will show members how to take full advantage of their Horizon Medicare plans.


Come prepared to engage

All Horizon members need to bring to the events is their member ID card. And of course, a list of questions.

“Our service team will be there to answer questions and help facilitate resolutions to issues that members may be having,” said Rob Maxton, manager of community outreach for Medicare programs at Horizon BCBSNJ.

Maxton, who has been the “emcee” for all of the Horizon seminars, sees these events as a way to “put a face” on Horizon and engage members in a way that’s more personal and more effective.

At a recent seminar, he recounted, a member was upset and needed clarification about a claim. But by the end of the session, the member was so pleased with the help she received that she hugged one of the Horizon representatives.


Find a seminar near you

Following are dates and locations for upcoming Wellness Education Seminars:


Thursday, July 18, 2019

MCLS-East Windsor Branch

138 Hickory Corner Road, East Windsor, NJ 08520


Thursday, July 25, 2019


Randolph Township Free Public Library


28 Calais Road, Randolph, NJ 07869


Tuesday, July 30, 2019


Clarion Hotel


60 Cottontail Lane, Somerset, NJ 08873


Thursday, August 1, 2019


Parsippany-Troy Hills Library


449 Halsey Road, Parsippany, NJ 07054


Thursday, August 15, 2019


Atlantic Cape Community College


5100 Black Horse Pike, Mays Landing, NJ 08830


Although registration isn’t required, Horizon BCNSNJ members interested in attending are encouraged to register in advance. Light refreshments will be served.