Medicare Trying To Nudge Seniors Out Of Plans With Low Ratings

KHN: 11/1/12

Medicare officials are trying a novel approach during this open enrollment season to gently nudge a half million beneficiaries out of 26 private drug and medical plans that have performed poorly over the past three years.

It begins with letters informing seniors they are enrolled in a plan that received low ratings.

“We encourage you to compare this plan to other options in your area and decide if it is still the right choice for you,” the letterfrom Medicare urges. About 375,000 members of Medicare Advantage plans received the letters, along with 150,000 drug plan members in 48 states, the District of Columba and Puerto Rico, including California, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, Ohio and Texas.

The effort marks the first time that Medicare officials have tried to steer beneficiaries away from some private drug and medical plans, while still allowing them to operate.Officials have also warned the plans that they may be cancelled in the future. Read more