A state senator from Farmington says he’s gotten calls from weeping elderly constituents who say they did not realize they were forfeiting their Medicare benefits when they signed up with a private insurance plan to save some money.
The Senate has adopted Senator Kevin Engler’s plan that could protect people from thinking the Medicare Advantage Plan they’re being asked to buy is a Medicare supplement policy. Engler says it’s not a supplement at all, but a replacement. He says the Medicare Advantage Plans are more like HMO’s, with specific healthcare providers. He says many of the people he’s talked to did not realize until too late that the Medicare Advantage Plan cancels their Medicare coverage and might cut off access to their long-time local healthcare providers.
Engler’s proposal requires sellers of Medicare Advantage Plans to make it clear the plan replaces Medicare coverage and could limit access to healthcare It also gives purchasers 48 hours to back out if they learn they’ve made a mistake
The proposal could be sent to the House tomorrow.