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A letter was generated on 10/12/12 and again, to clarify on 10/26/12, by the BayCare Health System, to all UnitedHealthcare and UnitedHealthcare AARP Plans Enrollees, to inform us that they are not renewing any of the UnitedHealthcare Medicare Complete PPO / HMO Contracts for 2013.
This will have a huge negative impact on many Seniors in the Tampa Bay area. BayCare will continue to accept the " AARP Medicare Supplement Plans A,B,C,F,K,L and N ". It does not too take much, to read between the lines, as to what BayCare is actually stating. However, they have cited other reasons for their decision to not accept the UHC Medicare Health Plans, which are affordable to a large number of Seniors.
Florida has the largest number of Seniors and many of these Seniors have worked their entire life, in a lower Wage System, which is why they have chosen the less expensive / or most affordable UHC Medicare PPO / HMO Plan.
My major concern is, BayCare has the largest quality Health Care System in the Tampa Bay Area; with 10 Hospitals,9 Imaging Centers; 4 large Ambulatory Surgery Centers; the best Home Health Care and Outpatient Laboratory Services; as well as, a huge base of Clinicians / Diagosticians / Doctors,for which Seniors in the Tampa Bay Area, have come to know and depend on all of these quality services.
The 10/12/12 letter informs us of 11 other Medicare Plans, that we may want to consider, which may permit access to the BayCare System. One of the suggested Plans, is infact in the aquisition process, which is projected for the Spring of 2013. Several others, are still in the process of getting the wrinkles out of their Plans and there are some new, non-experienced Plans starting out. These are the affordable options presented to us. They sure do not make one feel secure in making a new choice...and there are many limitations in the Plans, that prevent access to quality Medical services.
Our choices for Medications have been restricted, over the past several years, to be "Cost-Effective" for everyone, not just Seniors. It does not matter if your body responds favorably to a medication, the Plan Phamacy Formularies are pro generic and have Step-Therapy. Which by the way, each time you change an Insurance / Medicare Plan, you are forced to go through another Step-Therapy Process, to get your Medications approved.
At, Step 5 / or above,the cost of your medications, will then drive you right into the Donut-Hole. Sounds like one of those Reality Games...however, it is our body and our money, that they are playing with.
Tampa Bay may have been targeted as a "Pilot Project"....other States may be targeted for next year?
My heart really goes out to the Seniors, who are not able to fully understand what is going to happen...and they do not elect another Plan / or return to Medicare by 12/31/12.
How do we ensure ongoing access to quality Health Care / Services? What happens when your largest Health Care System, decides to eliminate your affordable access options via the Medicare Plan you have chosen?