Health / Tips & tools

6 Ways Ardell Makes the Most of Her Plan (And You Can Too)

Ardell, BCBSRI Medicare Advantage member

Since moving to Rhode Island in 2016, Ardell Majette-Wyche has had a BCBSRI Medicare Advantage plan, and she describes herself as “true blue all the way.” 

“At Blue Cross, they actually care,” Ardell said. “They have thousands of members, but they make me feel like an individual. There are people there who’ve helped me, and I’ve gotten very attached to them.”

One of those people is Zoila Ramos-Albizu, a BCBSRI employee who often hosts healthy living classes at St. Martin de Porres Senior Center in Providence, where Ardell volunteers. “I love being out in the community and helping our members stay well,” Zoila said. “And Ardell is always encouraging members to use all their benefits. It’s wonderful!”

Learn what Ardell loves most about her plan—and how those same benefits could help you stay heathy and independent.

1. “The rides benefit is extra special.”

Ardell often uses the $0 private rides benefit1, where you can schedule transportation to doctors’ appointments and places in the community that support your well-being, like senior and community centers, libraries, and Your Blue StoreSM locations. “I feel like I’m going in a limo,” she said. “And after I finish my appointment, I call, and they’re there within five or ten minutes.”

Schedule your ride: Call 1-833-972-2774 or visit

2. “I get so much at the pharmacy with my OTC benefit.”

With your Flexible Benefit Card, you get $60 or more per quarter (depending on your plan) to choose from hundreds of over-the-counter (OTC) everyday health items.2 Ardell said, “It’s great to be able to pay for what I need, from a blood pressure cuff to Tylenol.” You also get $175 or more per year (depending on your plan) on your card to use for dental and hearing expenses—in addition to your standard benefits. 

Use your Flexible Benefit Card: See how to shop with your card.

3. “At the gym, I show my Silver&Fit number, and I don’t pay anything.” 

With her Silver&Fit® benefit3, Ardell goes to her local YMCA. It’s one of 16,500+ fitness centers nationwide that BCBSRI Medicare Advantage members can access for $0. “Gyms are expensive. You don’t always think about the amount of money you could be paying,” said Ardell. “Having this benefit keeps me moving.” Silver&Fit also provides $0 home fitness kits to help you exercise when and where you choose.

Find a fitness center: Visit or call 1-888-797-8059 (TTY/TDD: 711). 

4.“I like using the household help benefit to get rides to the gym.”

With the household help benefit, you can get rides, companionship, and help with light chores. “I have partial blindness,” said Ardell. “My husband could take me to the gym, but I like doing things on my own. My helper takes me to the gym and is also my biggest motivator while I’m there.”

Set up time with a helper: Call Papa at 1-888-865-1314 to get started.

5. “I couldn’t believe Blue Cross sent me meals after I was hospitalized.”

After a stay in the hospital or a skilled nursing facility, you can get a week’s worth of freshly made meals delivered to your door for $0.4 “I was in the hospital last year,” Ardell said, “and Blue Cross called, asking if I wanted 14 meals when I got home. It was such a good feeling. I appreciated that when my husband wasn’t there, I could pop in those meals myself. And they were excellent!” 

Schedule your delivery: Call Millonzi Fine Catering at (401) 615-7891.

6.“I have great eye care.”

Depending on your plan, you’ll receive $200 or more5 for contacts, lenses, and frames, and can save additional money when buying from an EyeMed provider.6 Or, shop anywhere you like with our easy reimbursement process. “My lenses used to be very expensive before I had this plan,” Ardell explained. “Now I pay $200, and Blue Cross reimburses me for it. It’s a beautiful thing.” 

Locate a vision provider: Use our Find a Doctor tool.

1Available within our service area for HMO & HMO-POS plans only/PPO plan has out-of-service benefit of 50% coinsurance/trip. Any trip over 20 miles will count as additional trips and will be subtracted from your plan’s trip total.
2Unused benefits do not roll over to the next benefit period. You cannot exceed your benefit amount. Prices, brands, and items vary from store to store. Purchases made online or by phone using the catalog may also be different than what you find in stores.
3You may select one home fitness kit per benefit year for $0. Shipping times for these kits may vary and kits cannot be exchanged once ordered. The Silver&Fit program is provided by American Specialty Health Fitness, Inc., a subsidiary of American Specialty Health Incorporated (ASH). Silver&Fit is a trademark of ASH and used with permission herein. The people in this piece are not Silver&Fit members. Participating facilities and fitness chains may vary by location and are subject to change.
4Get a week's worth of meals delivered to your door up to four times a year when you get home from an inpatient hospital stay or skilled nursing facility (SNF). For more information on the meals program, call (401) 615-7891.
5BlueCHiP for Medicare Value vision hardware allowance: $200; HealthMate for Medicare (PPO) and BlueRI for Duals vision hardware allowance: $300.
6EyeMed Vision Care is an independent company, contracted by Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island to provide vision hardware benefit management services.