TULSA, Okla. – More than 8,000 elderly residents across northeastern Oklahoma learned that they will be losing their health insurance.
Thousands of Oklahomans on Medicare received cancellation notices this week, alerting certain beneficiaries that their current Medicare Advantage plans won’t be available in 2018.
“Community Care Senior Health Plan won’t offer your Medicare plan in Rogers County in 2018,” Betty Short read from a letter she received in the mail.
It is a notice that sent fear through her household.
“We were just dropped for nothing,” she told KJRH. “There was no warning, nothing on TV, on Facebook, any indication.”
Without their coverage, the Shorts say they don’t know if they’ll be able to afford their daily medications.
KJRH learned that between 8,000 and 10,000 people in Tulsa and Rogers counties are affected by the change.
Officials say affected beneficiaries must choose a new plan before Dec. 31 to ensure that they have health and/or prescription drug coverage on Jan. 1. Those who do not choose a new plan will be placed on original Medicare and lose their prescription drug coverage.
Affected consumers have the following options:
- Choose a Medicare Advantage plan available in their county that provides that provides health and prescription drug coverage.
- Switch to original Medicare and add a Part D prescription drug plan. You may also want to consider a Medicare supplement plan. Since these beneficiaries are being terminated against their wishes, a special enrollment period will be created so they can purchase a supplement policy without the risk of being denied or charged a higher premium due to current or pre-existing conditions. This opportunity lasts 63 days from the date of plan termination.
If the beneficiary was enrolled in CommunityCare through their former employer, they should contact their employer to find out what arrangements are being made for replacement coverage.
Trained counselors can help beneficiaries understand the benefits and enrollment process.
You can call MAP at 800-763-2828 to ask questions or schedule an appointment to review their coverage.