Medicare Cost Plan changes for 2019

Due to a change in federal law, many Minnesotans with a specific type of Medicare plan, known as a “Cost Plan,” were notified to enroll in new Medicare coverage for 2019.

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Competitive Options Are Available

North Memorial Health providers participate in these major insurance companies’ Medicare plans:

  • UCare
  • UnitedHealthcare
  • HealthPartners
  • Medica
  • Allina Health | Aetna
  • Humana
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota

 

Resources

There are many resources available to help you learn more about Medicare options.

  • Medicare 1-800-633-4227
    • Official U.S. government site where you can review plan options, including Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage. Health plan sales representatives and insurance agents and brokers can help you learn about the different types of Medicare plans to meet your needs.
  • UCare plan options 1-888-285-2323
    • UCare Medicare with Fairview & North Memorial Health plans
    • UCare Medicare Plans
  • United Healthcare plan options
  • HealthPartners 952-883-5090 or 844-363-8979
  • Medica plan options
  • Alina 1-833-786-4672
  • Humana 1-800-457-4708
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota 1-855-579-7658

General Information

Frequently Asked Questions

Why did certain Cost Plans close in Minnesota?

Due to a change in federal law, Cost Plans will not be renewed in counties that have at least two competing Medicare Advantage plans in their service areas, and a minimum specified number of members. This includes any type of Cost Plan offered by all health insurance companies.

What counties are affected?

There are 21 counties where Medicare Cost Plans will NOT be affected. Those include: Aitkin, Carlton, Cook, Goodhue, Itasca, Kanabec, Koochiching, Lake, Le Sueur, McLeod, Meeker, Mille Lacs, Pine, Pipestone, Rice, Rock, Sibley, St. Louis, Stevens, Traverse and Yellow Medicine.
If you live in any other Minnesota county and currently are enrolled in a Cost Plan, you will need to enroll in new Medicare coverage for 2019. See the map.

What are the brand names of the Cost Plans that have closed?

In Minnesota, there are only three insurers who offer Cost Plans – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, HealthPartners and Medica. The specific Cost Plan names are as follows:

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota

  • Platinum Blue Choice Plan
  • Platinum Blue Choice Plan with Rx
  • Platinum Blue Complete Plan
  • Platinum Blue Complete Plan with Rx
  • Platinum Blue Core Plan
  • Platinum Blue Core Plan with Rx

HealthPartners

  • Freedom Active
  • Freedom Active with Rx
  • Freedom Balance
  • Freedom Balance with Rx
  • Freedom Basic
  • Freedom Ultimate
  • Freedom Ultimate with Enhanced Rx
  • Freedom Ultimate with Rx
  • Freedom Vital
  • Freedom Vital with Rx

Medica

  • Prime Solution Basic
  • Prime Solution Basic with Rx
  • Prime Solution Basic with Rx2
  • Prime Solution Enhanced
  • Prime Solution Enhanced with Rx
  • Prime Solution Enhanced with Rx2
  • Prime Solution Thrift
  • Prime Solution Thrift with Rx
  • Prime Solution Value
  • Prime Solution Value with Rx
  • Prime Solution Value with Rx2

What do I need to do if I have a Cost Plan but live in one of the counties where Cost Plans are continuing?

You don’t need to do anything to keep your Cost Plan.

What do I need to do if I have a Cost Plan and my insurer tells me that I am being automatically transitioned into a Medicare Advantage plan?

You can either stay enrolled in this new plan, or choose to enroll in a different plan.

What do I need to do if I have a Cost Plan and I am not being automatically transitioned into a Medicare Advantage plan?

You will need to enroll in a new plan.

If I have a Cost Plan that is closing and I do nothing, what will happen?

You will be automatically return to Medicare Original (Parts A and B only) on Jan. 1, 2019.

What are the key dates to remember?

  • Nov. 2, 2018-Mar. 5, 2019 – Seniors who lost their Cost Plans and switched to Original Medicare can buy Medicare Supplement coverage.
  • Dec. 8, 2018-Feb. 28, 2019 – Special enrollment period for seniors who lost their Cost Plan
  • Jan. 1-Mar. 31, 2019 – New Medicare Advantage enrollment period for all seniors enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan. They can switch to a different Medicare Advantage plan or return to Original Medicare Part A and B.
  • Mar. 1, 2019 – New Medicare plan coverage starts (if you enroll in February)