Physicians United Plan Medicare Beneficiaries Need to Act Now
Mutual termination of Physicians United Plan, Effective July 1, 2014
TALLAHASSEE – Florida Medicare has begun a Special Election Period (SEP) to aid Medicare beneficiaries who have lost their health care coverage offered through Physicians United Plan (PUP). The federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will mutually terminate its contract with the PUP on July 1, 2014. The termination has affected approximately 38,000 Medicare beneficiaries throughout several counties in Florida, including Broward, Hillsborough, Marion, Martin, Miami-Dade, Palm Beach, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, St. Lucie, and Sumter. During the SEP, these individuals have the opportunity to enroll in a new health care plan that best meets their needs.
Due to the importance of ensuring affected beneficiaries are able to continue receiving medical and prescription drug coverage, CMS announced that all PUP beneficiaries were retroactively transferred to traditional Medicare effective June 1, 2014. As Medicare benefits vary from PUP, members will not have the same coverage they had prior to June 1. Medicare is also providing prescription drug coverage through an assigned Part D plan. We encourage beneficiaries to visit Medicare.gov for a list of approved services under original Medicare. For additional assistance or billing questions, members may call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227).
CMS stated the new Medicare Advantage/Medicare Advantage with Prescription Drug Plans (MA/MAPD) will coordinate with Physicians United Plan to share information on the beneficiary out-of-pocket costs so that will not start over for beneficiaries. There are several options for beneficiaries during the SEP to include; keeping Original Medicare and the assigned Part D plan, purchase a Medicare Supplement policy (Medigap) to supplement Original Medicare, or select a new Medicare Advantage plan and/or change the Part D prescription drug plan assigned by CMS. The effective coverage date will be the first of the month following enrollment into the plan.
August 31 is the final day for affected Medicare beneficiaries to choose another MA/MAPD or Part D plan. The Florida Department of Elder Affairs and the state’s eleven Area Agencies on Aging are providing plan comparison and enrollment assistance through the SHINE (Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders) Program. SHINE is a free and unbiased Medicare counseling program that can help beneficiaries whose coverage has changed to choose a new prescription drug plan or enroll in a state or federal Medicare cost-saving program.
SHINE can educate you about the choices that are available. Affected Floridians are encouraged to call the Elder Helpline toll-free at 1-800-96-ELDER (1-800-963-5337) or visit the SHINE website, www.floridaSHINE.org. Information is available in Spanish and other languages, as well as for the hearing impaired (TDD: 850-414-2001).
CONTACT: Ashley Marshall, 850-414-2142