Helping You Navigate the Medicare Cost Plan Transition

Megan McClureProfessional AdviceLeave a Comment

You may be hearing that the Medicare Cost plans are going away and that you may have to change your plan for 2019. I have been getting a lot of questions lately, and as an experienced Medicare Insurance agent, I have provided an overview to help you navigate the upcoming changes. 

Due to changes in federal law, starting January 1, 2019, Medicare Cost plans will be ending, requiring all health insurance companies across the country to stop offering Cost plans in most areas. However, in the State of Minnesota, 21 counties will offer limited Medicare Cost plans beyond 2018: Aitkin, Carlton, Cook, Goodhue, Itasca, Kanabec, Koochiching, Lake, LeSueur, McLeod, Meeker, Mille Lacs, Pine, Pipestone, Rice, Rock, St. Louis, Sibley, Stevens, Travers, and Yellow Medicine

 

If you are enrolled in a Cost plan and live in one of these 21 counties where cost plans will continue:

 

  • You will not be affected by the Cost plan closure in 2019
  • You either have received or should receive your Annual Notice of Change and Evidence of Coverage for 2019 explaining any changes to your plan benefits and your monthly premium amount for 2019
  • If your plan continues to meet your needs, do nothing for now and remain enrolled in your plan during 2019
  • If your needs have changed, you should explore other Medicare plan options, and possibly enroll in a new plan for 2019

If you are enrolled in a Cost plan and live in one of the other 66 Minnesota counties, starting January 1, 2019, cost plans will no longer be available, represented in the blue shaded area:

If you live in one of the 66 counties where Medicare Cost plans are ending you either have received or should receive one of the following:

  • A transition letter explaining that you will be automatically enrolled into a new plan that is similar to your current plan. You can either accept this new plan or select a different Medicare plan for 2019 

OR-

  • A termination notice (if a similar plan is not available). You can either do nothing and return to Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) benefits only, or enroll in a new Medicare plan for 2019

All counties in Minnesota will have a significant variety of Medicare plans and types available. Contact a trusted insurance agent to help you select the plan that is right for you.

Medicare Supplement members, what you need to know:

  • You are NOT affected by the Medicare Cost plan closure
  • You will receive your annual renewal mailing sometime this fall
  • If your current Supplement plan continues to meet your needs, do nothing and remain enrolled in your current plan for 2019
  • If your needs have changed, you should explore other Medicare plan options and enroll in a new Medicare plan for 2019 that better meets your needs

Medicare Advantage and Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug Plan members, what you need to know:

  • You are NOT affected by the Medicare Cost plan closure
  • You have received or will receive either
    • Your Annual Notice of Change and Evidence of Coverage, and should either do nothing and remained in your current plan for 2019, or select a new Medicare plan for 2019 that better meets or needs

OR-

  • You have recieved or will recieve a plan termination notice, and should either do nothing and return to Original Medicare (Part A and Part B benefits only), or enroll in a new Medicare plan for 2019 that better meets your needs

You can enroll in a new Medicare Plan during the following election periods: 

October 15th, 2018 – December 7th, 2018 – Annual Election Period:

  • You can enroll in Medicare Advantage, with prescription drug coverage, or prescription drug plan (PDP) during this time. Your coverage will begin January 1, 2019
  • You qualify for a Guarantee Issue of Medicare Supplement plan for up to 63 days from your cost plan termination date. (until March 4, 2019) 

December 8, 2018 – February 28, 2019 – Special Election Period:

  • If you will be automatically enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug Plan or a Medicare Advantage Plan plan, you qualify for this Special Election Period. Your new coverage will start on the first day of the month after your enrollment. During this enrollment period, you can:
    • Disenroll from the MAPD or MA plan and return to Origial Medicare benefits only
    • Enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, different than the one that has been selected for you

Plan Features to Consider:

The Medicare Supplement Plan, the Medicare Advantage Plan, and the Medicare Cost Plan all have different features to consider including premium cost, out of pocket cost, provider network offering, renewability, residency requirements, and travel considerations.

Megan McClure grew up near Grand Marais, MN, working for her father in his insurance agency throughout high school. In 1995, she opened the branch office of McClure Insurance Agency, in Cold Spring, Minnesota, alongside her father and eventually took over the business. Specializing in Medicare benefits, the McClure Agency has grown to 5 agents, 3 support staff and offers a range of insurance products. Valuing client relationships, The McClure team loves to go above and beyond. Megan enjoys the outdoors, biking, boating, and spending time with family and friends. Megan’s daughter, son-in-law and 3 grandkids live in El Paso, Texas ~ her son-in-law is stationed at Fort Bliss and will be deployed to Iraq in February.

Contact Megan for questions about Medicare needs for you and your loved one:

Megan McClure

The McClure Agency

20 Red River Avenue South, Suite 200
Cold Spring, MN 56320

www.mcclureinsuranceagency.com
megan@mcclureinsuranceagency.com

320.685.7685, Office
800.685.7165, Toll Free

Resources: www.seniorlinkageline.com

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