Medicare cost plans going away from 2019 in SE Minn.

By Charles Moline, CLU, ChFC

AdvisorNet Financial

If you are a Minnesota Senior who has a “cost” plan of supplemental insurance, I am sure by now you have heard they are going away at the end of this year.

Though Cost plans have not been popular nationwide, Minnesotans love them. They have been one of the most popular plans of supplemental insurance in Minnesota. In fact, about 400,000 people will be faced with finding new supplemental plans for 2019. Not all counties in Minnesota will be affected. The measure is whether the county in question has at least two Medicare Advantage plans available with a certain level of members. If it meets those requirements, the cost plan goes away. This is a CMS requirement.

The good news is, many new plans are going to be offered by some of the top insurance carriers. For those of you on cost plans you will be offered a guaranteed enrollment for most Medigap and Medicare Advantage Supplemental Plans of Coverage. There is a distinct difference between these two offerings of insurance and it’s important to make sure you are well informed and make the right decision for your needs.

Each insurance company has specific timetables for notification to their clients. You will probably hear from them by mail and phone over the next few weeks. You will also hear the terms “auto enroll” or “deemed enrolled”. This will be your carriers attempt to keep your business and enroll you into one of their offerings. This decision does not have to be made right away. I am suggesting to my clients to look at the marketplace first. To check out the benefits, but also the pricing differences between carriers. You may find that doing your research in selecting a plan could save you premium dollars without sacrificing benefits.

Be on the look out for a letter in the next few weeks from CMS advising you that your cost plan is being discontinued. This letter is very important to save if you will be enrolling in a Medigap plan of insurance. Under normal circumstances you would have to prove insurability for this insurance if you are beyond your initial enrollment period. Once you receive this letter save it, some carriers will require this letter.

This year, it is very important to talk with an advisor to insure you are getting the right plan of supplemental insurance at the right price. It is also important to talk with an advisor that represents a variety of companies, not just one or two. The market is changing, new insurance companies are now in Minnesota, and new plans are being introduced by all the carriers.

Like always, check your Part D formulary plans which can change every year. You will also find a difference with companies in how deductibles and various Tier copays and coinsurance work.

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