New York State
Insurance Department


New York, October 8, 1998

SUPERINTENDENT LEVIN OFFERS HELP TO NEW YORK’S SENIORS AFFECTED BY NATIONWIDE MEDICARE HMO CHANGES

In response to the recent announcement by several HMOs that they are withdrawing from the medicare market nationwide, Superintendent of Insurance Neil D. Levin today announced that the Insurance Department will be providing assistance to seniors in New York State to ensure continued health coverage.

Last week, the Health Care Financing Administration of the United States Department of Health and Human Services announced that a number of HMO’s are withdrawing from the Medicare market as of January 1, 1999 – affecting more than 300,000 beneficiaries nationwide. HMOs terminating their Medicare plans must notify members no later than November 2, 1998, sixty days prior to the January 1, 1999 effective date.

Medicare beneficiaries are encouraged to call the Insurance Department’s toll- free telephone number for information on what options are available to them if their coverage is terminated.

These options include returning to the traditional fee-for-service Medicare, purchasing Medicare supplement insurance, known as "Medigap insurance" to fill in some of the gaps in their Medicare coverage and, enrolling in another HMO that offers coverage in their geographic area.

To help ease the transition for the thousands of New Yorkers whose Medicare managed care providers are withdrawing from the market on January 1, the Department will provide consumers with information on those insurers selling Medicare supplement insurance throughout New York State and the cost of such insurance, as well as information on any available coverage through alternative HMOs. The Department’s toll-free telephone number is 1-800-342-3736. Information will also be available on the Insurance Department's Website at Consumer Information on Medicare Coverage.

 


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