Medicare Changes Could Cause Hassle for Seniors

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Over three million seniors may have a Medicare headache coming their way.? As Medicare works to narrow down the number of plans to eliminate duplicate coverage or confusing choices, seniors currently enrolled in the plans that get cut will have to switch to a new plan even if they are happy with the one they have.? In ?More than 3M seniors may have to switch drug plans,? Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar of the?Associated Press points out that this does not mesh with President Obama?s promise that those Americans who like their health care plan can stick with it.

The number of drug plan options will likely go from 40 to below 30 in each state, leaving 3 million seniors to make the decision on a new plan that will work for them.? No one seems to be worried that there will be a lack of choice regarding the Medicare plans, but that the process of choosing a new plan will disrupt and inconvenience seniors.? There could also be some changes in the copayments and premiums when plans are switched, possibly to benefit the consumer.

Avalere Health produced the study using information from Medicare?s specifications.? They believe that around 20% of the seniors enrolled in Medicare?s stand alone drug plans will be affected.? While the decrease in plan offerings should actually make it easier for the new enrollment process, it most likely will disturb current enrollees that are affected.? Medicare hopes that the entire process will be seamless and says that their goal of reducing the 1,600 plans available will be met soon.

While those who are against Obama?s health care reform argue that this reduces the choice in health coverage, the AARP is supporting the changes in Medicare.? Their spokesperson said that AARP?s members have been complaining for years that the amount of options are confusing and that they would like the drug coverage simplified.? A Medicare official said that some insurance companies will simply switch the drug plans to a new one without affecting consumers at all and that most premiums will not increase.? The list of new drug plans should be out this month.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, October 12th, 2010 and is filed under Medicare. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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