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Medicare Cost Plans Closing For 2019

MN Health Staff Writer | June 20, 2018

Starting in 2019, a popular Medicare insurance product known as a Medicare Cost plan will no longer be available to members in the vast majority of counties throughout Minnesota.  Policyholders who are on this type of plan, which has been offered by three insurance companies here, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, HealthPartners, and Medica, will need to choose replacement coverage for January 1st.  This impacts nearly 300,000 Minnesota residents. Those Medicare members losing their plans can get assistance from qualified Medicare professionals by – Clicking here.

 

In 2003, the federal government passed a law that required competition in states where Medicare Cost plans were sold.  This meant that if there was a substantial presence of Medicare Advantage plans in these service areas, that Medicare Cost  plans could not be offered.  After many years of Congress delaying the initiation of this rule, President Obama signed into law in 2015 that this requirement would take effect in 2019.

 

Medicare Cost plans will continue to be available in 21 Minnesota counties due to the lack of other Medicare plan options.  These unaffected counties are:

 

Aitkin

Lake

Rice

Carlton

Le Sueur

Rock

Cook

McLeod

St Louis

Goodhue

Meeker

Sibley

Itasca

Mille Lacs

Stevens

Kanabec

Pine

Traverse

Koochiching

Pipestone

Yellow Medicine

 

 

If you are a resident of one of these counties you are not impacted by any changes, and you would still be able to keep or purchase a Medicare Cost plan into 2019.

 

Medicare members in any of the affected Minnesota counties will have an opportunity to enroll in an alternative plan during the Annual Election Period (AEP) between October 15th and December 7th. They will also be given a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) to choose a replacement product between December 8th, 2018 and February 28th, 2019.  Members may be automatically enrolled into a similar plan to their current Medicare Cost plan by the existing insurance carrier.  If a similar plan is not available, the policyholder will be afforded a "guaranteed enrollment" this fall to choose another Medicare plan for next year.

 

In addition to the monthly premium, factors like out-of-pocket costs, network providers, prescription drug coverage, travel benefits, health club memberships, and dental should be considered when choosing a Medicare product.  The knowledgeable brokers at Minnesota Health Insurance Network will do a comprehensive analysis of your specific needs and make recommendations that will fit your particular situation.      

 

Click here to request help from a Medicare expert at the Minnesota Health Insurance Network

Category: Medicare Supplement
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