What's Happening to Medicare Cost Plans What's Happening to Medicare Cost Plans

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.

As the manager of our Sales team, my family and friends often ask me things they’ve seen or heard about health insurance. Sometimes it makes for a hearty dinner conversation, and other times it can come up during a backyard chat with a neighbor.

I’ve been getting more questions lately about Medicare changes in the works. Truth is, there are Medicare changes starting Jan. 1, 2019. I know many people like to plan ahead, so here are some answers to the questions we’ve been getting about Medicare Cost plan changes.

First, what’s a Medicare Cost plan?

Medicare Cost plans are a type of Medicare health plan that’s available in certain areas of the country. Learn about Original Medicare and these other types of Medicare plan options:
Introduction to Medicare, Medicare Advantage plans, Medicare Supplement plans and Medicare prescription drug plans.

Will my Medicare Cost plan go away next year?

Based on a federal law starting Jan. 1, 2019, some Medicare Cost plans will not continue. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) set these new rules:

  • CMS will not renew Medicare Cost plans in counties where there are two or more Medicare Advantage plans with a certain number of members.
  • This change will happen in 66 Minnesota counties.
  • Cost plans will stay in 21 Minnesota counties if Medicare renews the plan contract.
  • Cost plans will continue in the surrounding states of Wisconsin, North Dakota and South Dakota.

Do I need to take action now if I have a Medicare Cost plan?

You don’t need to do anything different for your 2018 coverage. Your current 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 about next year?

It’s important each year to review your Medicare plan options during the Annual Election Period (AEP) from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. You may have to change your plan for 2019. But don’t worry! You can trust your local Medicare Cost plan to provide support and guidance.

There will be a variety of Medicare plans available for 2019, and you may find that some plans will have benefits and coverage similar to the plan design you currently have.

Making sure you get the right plan to meet your needs is important. If your plan is going away, you’ll be able to enroll in another plan and can’t be denied coverage based on your medical condition. That’s reassuring!

Please note: If you receive your Medicare Cost coverage through a former employer or union, your enrollment period may vary. Please contact your plan administrator.

Here to support you

There’s a lot to know about the changes ahead. Read this article for help preparing, Tips to prepare, compare and enroll in a 2019 Medicare plan. We’re here to help guide you through any changes and plan options to make sure you have the coverage you need.

Share this article with your own friends and family who have a Medicare Cost plan. You never know – it may come up at your next get-together!