Medicare Advantage Companies Entering the Empty Cost Plan Space

And It Could Have Dramatic Effects On Medicare And The People Who Use It.

Many Medicare advantage companies feel Minnesota offers the biggest opportunity.

As we discussed several blogs ago (Minnesota Medicare), Medicare Cost plans are on the way out next year. Federal legislation has ruled that any Medicare Cost plan in an area served by two or more Medicare Advantage plans will not be doing business in 2019. In addition, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will not accept any new contracts or renew old ones.

This means that enrollees in 14 states and the District of Columbia will have to switch plans. The Kaiser Family Foundation reports that, in 2017, 612,054 people had Cost plans Minnesota accounts for 62 percent of that total.

Companies that offer Medicare supplement plans or Medicare Advantage plans are jumping to fill the void, especially in Minnesota. Aetna and United Healthcare are expanding their presence with Advantage plans.

Blue Crown & Blue Shield is introducing its version of Medicare Advantage. UCare and Humana are also launching new Advantage plans to add to their existing offerings.

Medica and HealthPartners, former Cost plan companies are expanding their presence with its Medicare Advantage plans.

Coast plan beneficiaries’ coverage will change

The advantage of holders of the former Cost plans was that they were not restricted to a network of providers. They could go outside of the network for service. They could also pair medical benefits from one provider with pharmacy benefits from another. That flexibility will be gone with both Advantage and supplemental, or Medigap, plans.

As we noted previously, those people whose Cost plan will end this year have several alternatives: a Medicare Advantage or a Medigap plan.

These both mean there will be different types of coverage with different rules and regulations. Doing some background research before deciding is your best bet. Allow yourself plenty of time before the end of the year and get your no-obligation quote below.

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