“Bad News? — Not Really!”
You may know some of the over 700 individuals in Northern Colorado that might feel they received some bad news in the last two weeks…
- a letter notifying them that Rocky Mountain Health Plans (RMHP) will terminate their Cost-plan Medicare policies in Northern Colorado effective January 1, 2018. In reality, this a golden opportunity!
- RMHP had been struggling financially for several years, and earlier this year entered into a merger with UnitedHealthcare, the nation’s largest insurance carrier. RMHP hopes to gain financial stability by having access to UnitedHealthcare’s leading-edge technology and focusing exclusively on its core territory—the Western Slope—while shedding its less profitable business along the Front Range.
“What if Rocky policyholders do not take action before December 31, 2017?”
If Rocky policyholders do not take action before December 31, 2017, three things will happen automatically on January 1st:
- First, their RMHP Medicare cost plan will terminate.
- Second, they will be returned to Original Medicare.
- Third, they will no longer have Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage.
“Guarantees regardless of pre-existing health conditions!”
While it can be frustrating and scary to be losing coverage, many people may discover they have struck gold! These folks get a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) that allows them to obtain a Medicare Supplement or a Medicare Advantage plan, regardless of any health status. Obtaining a Medicare Supplement or Medicare Advantage plan is important in order to deal with the gaps in Medicare.
I have often spoken with individuals covered by a Medicare Advantage plan, after they have developed a serious health condition, who want to switch to a Medicare Supplement. In many cases, I’ve had to turn them away because they have now become uninsurable. But, when a company terminates coverage, as is happening now with RMHP, the law requires an SEP that guarantees people coverage regardless of any pre-existing health conditions!
While both Medicare Supplements and Medicare Advantage plans offer excellent coverage, there are important differences between them that should be thoroughly understood prior to deciding on which option is most appropriate for your particular needs.
“Be the Hero…”
The best way to get an unbiased explanation of ALL your options is to speak with a Medicare specialist who is also an independent broker. This is where you must be careful to whom you listen. There are many agents who sell Medicare products, but represent only one company. That’s like going car shopping and only going to a Ford dealer. Fords are a good car, but maybe a Chevy, or a Toyota, or a Honda might have been a better choice for your needs.
The same logic holds when shopping for a Medicare plan. Stick with an independent broker, such as the brokers at Trozan Insurance Agency, who can listen to your needs and show you many plans, from many different carriers and also help you select the plan that does the best job of covering your prescription drugs. By the way, all agents and brokers are currently prohibited by law from charging for their services, so you should never have to pay a fee for any consultations.
If you know of someone being terminated by RMHP, share this article with them—you’ll be a hero in their eyes!
To reach Trozan Insurance Agency call 970-224-5500 in Fort Collins area, or toll-free at 800-553-1444