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2019 Minnesota Medicare Cost
plan changes

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Choose your 2019 Medicare plan now

Some people with Medicare Cost plans in Minnesota will need to choose a new Medicare plan for 2019. HealthPartners is here to help you through this transition.

You don’t have to do anything for your 2018 plan. You’ll continue to have your current health plan coverage until Dec. 31, 2018, as long as you continue to live in your plan’s service area and pay your plan premiums.

Use the info and tools here to help you navigate the changes and get coverage starting Jan. 1, 2019. Find out which counties are affected, visit an information session, and call or chat with us.

2019 Medicare plans from HealthPartners

HealthPartners has a variety of 2019 Medicare plan options in Minnesota for you. Count on us to help you find the right coverage for your health care needs.

HealthPartners® Journey (PPO) plans

Enjoy the convenience of one simple plan with health and prescription drug coverage. Get your care from a network of select doctors, clinics and hospitals, and enjoy extra benefits. Choose from three different plans, available in eight counties in the greater Twin Cities metro area.

HealthPartners® Medicare Supplement plans

Available in all Minnesota counties, the Basic and Extended Basic plans offer comprehensive health coverage. (Enroll in a separate Part D plan if you need one.) You can get the same covered services anywhere when you use any U.S. provider that accepts Medicare. Your plan is guaranteed renewable and moves with you to another state.

HealthPartners is a Cost plan and a PPO plan with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in HealthPartners depends on contract renewal. The HealthPartners family of health plans is underwritten and/or administered by HealthPartners, Inc., Group Health, Inc., HealthPartners Insurance Company or HealthPartners Administrators, Inc. Fully insured Wisconsin plans are underwritten by HealthPartners Insurance Company.

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What’s Happening?

You may be hearing some talk about Medicare Cost plans going away. Here’s a quick summary of what’s happening and what it means for you.

The latest questions we're hearing about Medicare changes

Where are Medicare Cost plans going away?

Based on a federal law that starts Jan. 1, 2019, Medicare Cost plans won’t continue in 66 Minnesota counties. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will not renew Medicare Cost plans in counties where there are two or more Medicare Advantage plans with a certain number of members. Use the county lookup tool on this website to see if you live in a county that’s affected. Cost plans will continue in 21 Minnesota counties and in surrounding states. This includes Wisconsin, North Dakota and South Dakota.

How do I know if I am affected?

See if your county is included; just enter your county in the tool on this website with the heading, How will this affect my plan? The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and/or your health plan sent letters in August and September to Medicare Cost plan members who are affected.

Do I still have my 2018 Medicare Cost plan?

Your 2018 Medicare Cost plan covers you through the end of the year, as long as you continue to live in Minnesota and pay your plan premiums.

What action will I need to take for 2019?

It’s important to review your Medicare plan options during the Annual Election Period (AEP) from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. If your Cost plan will be ending, you can enroll in a new plan for Jan. 1, 2019 during the AEP. Check out these tips to help you in the article, Tips to prepare, compare and enroll in a 2019 Medicare plan.

Your health plan can automatically enroll you in a Medicare Advantage plan if you meet certain guidelines. (See question, Am I automatically enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan?)

Am I automatically enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan?

Based on guidelines from The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), health plans can automatically enroll some members in a Medicare Advantage plan. The plan must offer comparable coverage to your 2018 plan; you need to have both health and prescription drug coverage with the same company; and you must live in a county where Medicare Advantage plans are offered.

  • If you meet these guidelines, your health plan can automatically enroll you in a 2019 Medicare Advantage plan. You don’t need to take any action if you like this plan for 2019.
  • If you are not automatically enrolled into a new plan, you’ll have to choose a new Medicare plan for coverage starting Jan. 1, 2019. If you don’t choose a new plan, you’ll have Original Medicare only.
What other types of Medicare plans can I enroll in?

You can get more coverage than just Original Medicare Parts A and B with these types of plans: Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplement and Part D drug plans. Learn how these plans work in the article, Other Medicare options if my Cost plan goes away.

How do Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement plans work?

Both plans provide extra coverage to fill the cost-sharing gaps in Original Medicare. Here’s a general description of their differences.

  • Medicare Advantage plans include your health and Part D outpatient prescription drug benefits in one plan, with one number to call if you have a question. You pay less when you use providers in the plan’s network.
  • Medicare Supplement plans provide health coverage only. They don’t have Part D prescription drug coverage, which you can purchase separately if you need drug coverage. You can get your care from any U.S. provider that accepts Medicare and get the same covered services.
Will I be able to keep my doctor?

Medicare Advantage plans have certain doctors, clinics and hospitals in the network. It’s always important to use providers in the network because you pay less for covered services. Medicare plans have different networks, so check the network list to see if your doctor is included. With Medicare Supplement plans, you can see any U.S. provider that accepts Medicare.

If your doctor is a HealthPartners Care Group provider, you can absolutely continue to see your doctor with a HealthPartners Medicare plan.

Where can I get information?

You can call or chat with a HealthPartners sales team member (see blue box for information).You may find this article helpful, too: Where to go for info about Medicare Cost plan changes. It includes a handy reference sheet of resources you can call or go to online for more information.

What are key dates I should know about?

Keep these important dates in mind so you get the coverage you want:

  • Oct. 15 – Dec. 7, 2018: This is the Medicare Annual Election Period (AEP) when you can review 2019 options and enroll in a plan for Jan. 1, 2019. The AEP is for enrollment in Medicare Advantage and Medicare prescription drug plans.
  • Now – March 5, 2019: You can enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan without providing your health history. This is called a “guaranteed issue right.” Your eligibility begins the date you received notice of Cost plan termination and lasts through March 5, 2019. If you elect this option, you’ll also be able to sign up for a separate Part D prescription drug plan if you need one.
  • Dec. 8, 2018 – Feb. 28, 2019: During this one-time Special Election Period (SEP), you can enroll in a different Medicare plan or choose Original Medicare due to the Cost plan closing.
  • Jan. 1 – March 31, 2019: This is the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period. If you enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan you can switch to a different Medicare Advantage plan, or add or drop Part D prescription drug coverage.