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  • Side Effects: Massachusetts Seniors Will Lose Medicare Advantage Plans in 2011

    President Barack Obama’s promise that “if you like it you can keep it” may be this generation’s “read my lips—no new taxes,” claim. New Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Administrator Dr. Donald Berwick recently said “Medicare Advantage remains strong and a robust option for millions of seniors who choose to enroll or stay in a participating plan today and in the future.” But seniors enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans offered through one Massachusetts insurer are about to find out otherwise.

    Harvard Pilgrim, the state’s second largest insurance company, plans to cancel its Medicare Advantage plan by 2011, forcing 22,000 seniors, who may very well like their current coverage just fine, to find another option. For many, this could mean enrolling in traditional Medicare and Harvard Pilgrim’s Medicare Supplemental plan, which offers similar benefits but at a higher expense.

    The company decided to dump Medicare Advantage because Harvard Pilgrim “became concerned by the long-term viability of Medicare Advantage programs in general,” said Lynn Bowman,  Vice President of Customer Service. “We know that cuts in Medicare are being used to fund national health care reform. And we also had concerns about our ability to build a network of health care providers that would meet the needs of our seniors.”

    It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Medicare Advantage plans are beginning to drop like flies.  In April, CMS Chief Actuary Richard Foster wrote: “We estimate that in 2017, when the MA provisions will be fully phased in, enrollment in MA plans will be lower by about 50 percent.”  Furthermore, in recent Heritage research, Robert Book, Ph.D., and James Capretta noted “the MA cuts will substantially restrict the ability of Medicare beneficiaries to choose the health plans that best meet their needs and will result in substantial reductions in coverage for many millions of seniors.”

    President Obama promised that “not a dollar of the Medicare trust fund will be used to pay for this plan.” Just this past August, the President further claimed that Medicare was stronger than ever.

    But time has shown there’s an unmistakable gap between the President’s promises and the reality of the new health care law.  For seniors losing the option to keep their current Medicare Advantage plans, that gap will be all too real, starting next year.

    This post was co-authored by Derek Pyburn.

    Posted in Obamacare [slideshow_deploy]

    11 Responses to Side Effects: Massachusetts Seniors Will Lose Medicare Advantage Plans in 2011

    1. Billie says:

      repeal obamacare on the basis of corruption and deceit and the fact it will not apply to all equally!

    2. Catman says:

      What else would we expect! Health care COST are going to sky rocket with the passage of Obamacare!

    3. Sandy. California says:

      I was notified this week that my "Evercare" medicare supplemental plan will not

      be available after 12/31/10.

    4. Plankton, Massachuse says:

      First of all I want to thank all of the idiots who voted for Obama and his thugocracy.

      You weren't paying attention when Obama said on the campaign trail: "We're just five days away from fundamentally transforming America."

      He meant what he said and said what he meant.

      Now I have got to suffer the consequences of idiots voting for an idiot socialist punk.

      I hope we've all come to our sensesby November 2nd.

    5. Randy 131 from Flori says:

      Everyone knows that the government can't run anything efficiently, and Obama and the Democrats have taken over the health care system in this country. You elected the fools, now you'll have to live with what they've done to you. I just want to know if anyone is counting all their lies and making a list of them, bet it's pretty long by now, but just wait, you haven't seen anything yet. That lame duck Congress is really going to screw us, it will be their payback for losing their jobs, wait and see. I don't think the dollar, the economy and our country will survive until the next Presidential election, at least not without 'Marshall Law'. History has shown us that great societies always fall from within, and look who's in charge now, the Democratic socialists and communists. Think I'm exaggerating, don't believe what FOX reports about Obama's czars, then check them out yourselves, bad news, FOX has been telling the truth.

    6. Pingback: Friday Health Care Links

    7. Pingback: Side Effects: Massachusetts Seniors Will Lose Medicare Advantage Plans in 2011 — We The People of Longview, TX

    8. Ron, Massachusetts says:

      Harvard Pilgrim has been an excellent Medicare Advantage provider. They provided excellent service to their members as well as provided prompt uncomplicated payment to providers. They became very popular with both members and healthcare providers, a rare success. Sadly nationwide few PFFS plans reached that level excellence.

      In order to root out the varmits a few doves will get flushed.

      HP was the first to offer PFFS Medciare Advantage plans in Massachusetts, maybe they will regroup and offer some new cocept of helathcare in future years.

    9. Nancy says:

      Both my husband and I were notified this week by CIGNA that our Medicare Access Plus (medicare advantage) would be dropped as of 12/31/2010. Where do we go from here?????? Thanks 'odramacare'!

    10. Sue Fitchett says:

      He lied to the People to push it through,we said NO. He lied to Congress to get it pushed through and the majority said No. Then he found a weak link,lied to him and wham,pushed it through. We didn't want Obama Care then,we don't want it now. How dare the government tell us how to take care of our bodies. None of their business! Congress need to go back to working For the people who are paying them… and get out of our personal lives.

    11. Bob, Massachusetts says:

      I subscribe to Tufts Medicare Preferred,an HMO plan which was more comprehensive than HP's – it covers my drug plan, including coverage in the GAP for generics for less money than HP, same doctors etc.

      I did due diligence and discovered that some plans (including HP) would likely drop their PFFS coverage because of changes made by a 2008 Law – pre OBAMA administration.

      HP, the non-profit formerly managed at a salary of $1.75 million by Charles Baker, current REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE FOR GOVERNER in MA said – The company decided to dump Medicare Advantage because Harvard Pilgrim “became concerned by the long-term viability of Medicare Advantage programs in general,” said Lynn Bowman, Vice President of Customer Service. “We know that cuts in Medicare are being used to fund national health care reform. And we also had concerns about our ability to build a network of health care providers that would meet the needs of our seniors.”

      Tufts has released their 2011 rates (including a Modest increase) no problem there!

      Obamacare Medicare effects will not be truly known or in place until 2014, in spite of what all these commenters are saying.

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