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Minnesotans on Medicare, you might want to know about a change affecting Medicare Cost Plans in your state. Medicare Cost Plans might not be available in Minnesota in 2019.
Medicare Cost Plans in Minnesota: Why might they be discontinued?
A Medicare Cost Plan is a type of Medicare health plan that’s available through private, Medicare-approved health insurance companies.
In 2015, the rules were changed about these plans. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) won’t allow Medicare Cost Plans (starting January 1, 2019) in counties where:
- There were at least two competing Medicare Advantage plans available the previous year
- These Medicare Advantage plans had at least a minimum specified number of members during the entire previous year.
Medicare Cost Plans in Minnesota: Can I still enroll?
As of 2017, you can’t enroll in a Medicare Cost Plan in Minnesota in counties affected by the CMS rule described above.
Medicare Cost Plans in Minnesota: Will my plan be dropped?
If you’re enrolled in a Medicare Cost Plan in Minnesota, you can keep the plan in 2018, but the plan will be discontinued as of January 1, 2019.
- If you want to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan before your coverage ends, you can sign up during the Annual Election Period (AEP), October 15 – December 7).
- If you want to return to Original Medicare, Part A and Part B, you can do this during the Medicare General Enrollment Period, which runs from January 1 to March 31 each year.
When your Medicare Cost Plan coverage ends, you may get a Special Election Period to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, if you choose to do so. If you don’t do anything, you’ll be automatically enrolled in Original Medicare (Part A and Part B). Your Special Election Period may let you enroll in a stand-alone Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan as well. Before your Medicare Cost Plan coverage ends, you may want to call the plan, or Medicare, and ask for details about your SEP. You can call Medicare at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048. Medicare representatives are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
You’re welcome to call a Medicare.com licensed insurance agent to talk about your other Medicare coverage options – we may be able to help you sign up for a Medicare health plan. The number is listed at the end of this article.
What other types of Medicare coverage can I get in Minnesota?
You might have several different Medicare coverage options in Minnesota. Some of the more common options are:
- Original Medicare (Part A and Part B). You might be automatically enrolled when you qualify for Medicare. You may be able to add:
- A Medicare Supplement Insurance plan, which might help pay Original Medicare’s out-of-pocket costs (such as coinsurance, copayments, and deductibles)
- A stand-alone Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan
- A Medicare Advantage plan to provide your Original Medicare benefits through a private, Medicare-approved health insurance company. Many Medicare Advantage plans include prescription drug coverage.
Please note that you still continue to pay your Medicare Part B monthly premium, along with any premium your Medicare health or prescription drug plan may charge.
If you have questions about Medicare coverage options, please feel free to ask me.
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