Independence Blue Cross, the biggest health insurer in Southeastern Pennsylvania, said it was discontinuing its stand-alone prescription drug plan for people who have traditional Medicare plans or a Medicare supplement plan. IBC said the stand-alone pharmaceutical plans were not cost-effective because they served so few people. The change will affect 9,000 customers, IBC said.

Total membership in IBC's Medicare Advantage and supplement plans is around 180,000, the company said.

IBC still has Medicare Advantage plans with Part D drug coverage. Open enrollment for Medicare plans starts Oct. 15 and runs through Dec. 7 for coverage starting Jan. 1. - Harold Brubaker