Coping with Medicare HMO Cuts

Nearly one million senior Americans will be searching for a new type of Medicare insurance coverage this autumn because the U.S. Government is slowing down increases in the levels of reimbursements it sends to Medicare HMOs.

As a result, Medicare HMOs, also known as Medicare+Choice organizations, are withdrawing from service areas around the country. One recent report estimated that more than 115 health insurance companies will drop Medicare HMO plans covering more than 930,000 senior and disabled Americans by the end of the year 2000. This is well beyond the original estimate of 700,000 people who were expected to be dropped.

To cope with insufficient reimbursement levels, these Medicare HMOs are also targeting drug benefits for reduction or elimination. This is in response to rising drug costs which are increasing on the order of 15 to 20 percent a year.

Older Americans who are in a Medicare+Choice program that is dropped by an HMO have several options. One is to enroll into another HMO. Another is to return to the traditional Medicare coverage and add a Medicare Supplement or Medigap plan to cover the gap between what Medicare pays and what doctors and hospitals charge.

One such Medicare supplemental insurance plan costs less and offers Medicare recipients direct assistance on paying for a number of services, including inpatient hospital services and coverage for skilled nursing facilities. Consumers get the same high quality Medicare Supplement insurance but save the additional costs related to selling through middlemen.

The company also offers a drug discount card in many states at no additional cost to the policyholder. While this card does not provide coverage for drugs, it does save seniors money on their prescription drugs by providing discounts that range between 10 to 40 percent if the prescription is filled at one of 22,000 participating pharmacies across the country.

Backed by more than 60 years of insurance expertise, this direct to the consumer Medicare supplement insurance product called MedSupOne Direct, offers coverage that meets with all federal guidelines for Medicare supplemental insurance plans. In addition, seniors that call this insurance company will be surprised to find that they can talk directly to a friendly and knowledgeable Medicare supplement specialist instead of an impersonal tape recording. The insurance provider has a number of highly trained staff who specialize in directly assisting consumers with answers to a variety of questions related to Medicare Supplement products.

To receive your free copy of The 2000 Guide to Health Insurance For People with Medicare, and learn more about the supplemental insurance services available directly from MedSup-One Direct, call 1-888-MEDSUP1 or visit their Web site at

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