If you’re currently an Empire BlueCross BlueShield Medicare Advantage member in New York or an Anthem Blue Cross member in California, you may have recently been contacted by Anthem with news that your Medicare Advantage Plan has been cancelled.
Nearly 30,000 New York members and 2,500 California members were notified that their plans were not being renewed after January 1, 2013. Because CMS (Centers for Medicare Services) does not permit automatic migration of plans, if you’ve received a non-renewal policy notice and would like to enroll in a new Medicare Advantage (MA) or Medicare Supplement plan, you must submit a new application for the plan you select.
Similar to many carriers, Empire traditionally makes changes each year which may include the addition or deletion of plans.
For 2013, several Empire BlueCross BlueShield or Empire BlueCross plans have exited entire counties. You will need to select a new plan if you find your Empire plan on the list below:
- Empire MediBlue Plus HMO has exited Rensselaer County
- Empire MediBlue Select HMO has exited Dutchess County
- Empire MediBlue Freedom III PPO plan has exited Clinton, Columbia, Delaware, Dutchess, Essex, Fulton, Manhattan, Montgomery, Nassau, Orange, Putnam, Queens, Rockland, Suffolk, Sullivan, Ulster, and Westchester counties.
- Empire MediBlue Essential HMO has exited Nassau, Rensselaer, Rockland and Ulster counties.
- Empire MediBlue Freedom II PPO plan has exited Delaware, Dutchess, Greene, Kings, Manhattan, Nassau, Orange, Putnam, Queens, Rockland, and Westchester counties.
- Empire MediBlue Freedom I PPO has exited Clinton, Dutchess, Essex, Manhattan, Orange, Putnam, Queens, Sullivan, Ulster, and Westchester counties.
If your plan is not being renewed, you will have a one-time Special Enrollment Period (SEP) from December 8, 2012 – February 28, 2013 to enroll in a plan. If you don’t select a plan by December 7, you may use the SEP from December 8 – December 31 to select a new plan with an effective date of January 1, 2013.
Last year at this time, Anthem cancelled their state-wide Medicare Advantage plan and instead offered 13 regional plans. This year, 10 counties will be impacted by Anthem BlueCross LPPO plan changes, including: Alameda, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Sonoma, Stanislaus and Ventura counties.
In seven of these ten counties, Anthem is introducing new PPO products. In Alameda, Santa Clara and Stanislaus counties, however, the PPO plan will exit with no PPO replacement; CareMore plans will be available to members in these counties
Be reminded: If you are currently in an Anthem BlueCross Medicare Advantage plan, and you want to stay in Medicare Advantage, then you must sign up for another Medicare Advantage plan (from either Anthem or another insurance carrier). If you do not sign up for a new plan, then you will automatically be enrolled in original Medicare.
At MedicareSolutions, we recognize that a change in your plan may be confusing and uncomfortable. To save you time, our licensed agents are available to you – at no charge – to assist you in selecting the Medicare plan that best fits your financial and health care needs. Call us today at 1-800-328-7305!