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Arkansas Blue Medicare Announces a High-Profile Benefit Partnership and Refreshed Plans for 2024

2024 Annual Enrollment Begins October 15

When the 2024 Medicare Annual Enrollment Period begins October 15, Arkansas Blue Medicare will debut a new benefit partnership and a variety of plan options for Medicare beneficiaries.

Arkansas Blue Medicare has partnered with Walmart to offer members the Walmart Wellness Benefits Card. This new benefit offers HMO and PPO members $50-$150 each calendar quarter to spend on over-the-counter (OTC) health-related items. Beneficiaries can shop at Walmart and Walmart Neighborhood stores, online, via the Walmart app, by calling Walmart customer service, or via mail order.

Offered only to Blue Medicare Independence (HMO) members is the Walmart Wellness Benefits Card for food and produce. This is a special supplemental benefit for the chronically ill (SSBCI) and only available to members diagnosed with a specified chronic illness. Beneficiaries will receive $25 each month to purchase approved healthy food and fresh produce, and can shop at Walmart and Walmart Neighborhood stores, as well as online and through the Walmart app for in-store pickup or delivery.

In addition to current Arkansas Blue Medicare HMO, PPOs, private fee-for-service plans (PFFS), and prescription drug plans (PDP), Medicare-eligible individuals may find the following plans to be ideal options to meet their specific needs:

  • BlueMedicare Independence (HMO): This plan features the Walmart Wellness Benefits Card for food and produce and supports those who receive Extra Helpto help pay for their Part D prescription drug costs. Members of this plan receive valuable extra benefits not offered by Original Medicare.
  • BlueMedicare Freedom Giveback (PPO): This plan is ideal for beneficiaries who receive creditable Part D coverage from the VA, Tricare, or other source, and are looking for Part B premium money back in their monthly Social Security check, along with extra benefits. In 2024, the Part B giveback has been increased to $75.

Additionally, Arkansas Blue Medicare HMO and PPO plans will now be available in 68 Arkansas counties in 2024 with the addition of Phillips County.

“The annual enrollment period is a very important time for Medicare-eligible individuals, and we are proud to be able to provide them with a growing number of coverage options to fit their needs," said Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield Lead Executive of Medicare Products, Laurin Dixon. “Having access to quality healthcare is vital and something we want to make sure our Medicare-eligible members never have to worry about in a time of need. We are excited to offer our members such a unique and specialized benefit this year with the Walmart Wellness Benefits Card and provide so many additional options."

Arkansas Blue Medicare plans also offer supplemental benefits such as preventive and restorative dental with unlimited extractions, eye exams and eyewear, hearing exams and hearing aids, in-home support services, the Blue Medicare Sapphire card, a SilverSneakers fitness program membership, and even meal delivery if a member has recently undergone surgery or a hospital stay.

When enrolling for coverage for 2024, it’s important to avoid several common mistakes.

  • Be aware of deadlines to avoid penalties. The Medicare Annual Enrollment Period begins October 15 and ends December 7, 2023, for coverage beginning January 1, 2024.
  • Understand the differences between Medicare Part A, Part B, Part C, and Part D.
  • Take note of plan premiums, copayments and/or coinsurances, and deductibles to decide which plan is right for you personally and financially.
  • Ask for help.

“Having a variety of coverage options allows Arkansans who are eligible for Medicare to choose a plan that best fits their needs, but we understand choosing a plan, especially if you’re new to Medicare, can be intimidating,” said Matthew Vannatta, vice president of consumer and retail markets. “Don’t be afraid to contact an insurance professional to help you navigate between the different plan costs and coverages.”

To help Arkansans navigate their Medicare options, individuals can contact an Arkansas Blue Medicare expert at 1-888-954-0020, log onto, or visit one of our ArkansasBlue Welcome Centers to receive in-person help from one of our local experts.

At ArkansasBlue Welcome Centers, associates can provide assistance year-round to beneficiaries shopping for health plans, needing customer service, paying bills, or just dropping by to say “hi.” In addition, many ArkansasBlue Welcome Centers house community rooms, which are available for use at no charge by eligible organizations.

Locations include:

  • Fayetteville
  • Fort Smith
  • Hot Springs
  • Jonesboro
  • Little Rock
  • Pine Bluff
  • Rogers

For more information on your nearest welcome center, visit