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Congresswoman Betty McCollum

Representing the 4th District of Minnesota

Medicare Cost Plans Are Sunsetting - Everything You Need to Know

WHY ARE MEDICARE COST PLANS SUNSETTING?

Every Medicare beneficiarin the Twin Cities metro area who is currently enrolled in Medicare Cost Planwill have their plan end on December 31, 2018.  You will need to take action to enroll in new Medicare coverage for 2019. The phaseout of Medicare Cost Plans has been decades in the making due to the high expense of administering the plans. The decision to end the plans was signed into law more than twenty-years ago as part of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997. Since then, there have been several extensions of Medicare Cost Plans. Most recently, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) extended Medicare Cost Plans through 2018 for most counties in Minnesota. 

WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS?

Medicare beneficiaries have two options to select from:

1) Original Medicare (Medicare Parts A & B) covers benefits on a fee-for-service basis and is managed by the federal government. This option offers the ability to add a Medicare supplemental policy to help pay your share of the out-of-pocket costs (deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments) of Medicare-covered services.  Also, Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage can be purchased.

2) Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C) is managed by private insurance companies with government-approved contracts that cover Medicare benefits. Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage can be purchased or may be included in some Medicare Advantage plans.

You should receive information in the mail from your insurer or the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on new enrollment options for Medicare coverage in 2019.

WHO CAN ANSWER  MY QUESTIONS? 

If you have questions you should call the Senior LinkAge Line – a trusted, unbiased resource sponsored by the Minnesota Board on Aging.  The Senior LinkAge Line can help you navigate the Medicare plan choices for 2019 so you can select the option that best meets your healthcare coverage needs.  All Medicare beneficiaries are encouraged to review their Medicare health and prescription drug coverage during open enrollment in the fall.

Senior LinkAge Line: 1-800-333-2433 or www.seniorlinkageline.com

IMPORTANT DATES:

Find a list of important dates concerning your coverage and open enrollment periods:

Medicare Open Enrollment: October 15 to December 7, 2018

Deadline for Selecting Alternative to Medicare Cost Plan: December 31, 2018

Additional Information: MN Medicare Cost Plan Timeline 

USEFUL LINKS AND RESOURCES:

Changes in Medicare 2019 Factsheet

MN Health Care Choices

How Medicare is Changing for Minnesotans (Video)

Senior LinkAge Line Answers Your FAQs (Video)

Medicare.gov

1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227)

 

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