Fallon Health Plans Etc: Medicare Changes for Seniors

Even if seniors weren’t planning to change their Medicare drug plans this fall, they may be forced to because the number of available plans is decreasing.  This could effect three million seniors, according to the Associated Press article “More than 3M seniors may have to switch drug plans.”  Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar’s article says that the government’s goal by reducing the number of plan offerings is to simplify and streamline Medicare.  Seniors with drug plans through Medicare and a private insurer like Fallon Health Plans might have to pick a new drug plan if theirs is discontinued.  It is possible that their insurance company will automatically reassign them to a new plan though, saving the headache of switching and possibly saving them money.

While most states currently offer around forty different choices for Medicare drug plans, this change will lower that number to around thirty per state.  The government hopes that this will decrease the confusion felt by some Medicare recipients.  It is possible that when seniors compare health insurance changes they could see differences in their premiums or copayments.  The changes could be better or worse.  While some current Medicare recipients may have a small disruption, these changes should make it much easier for new recipients to join Medicare in the future.  Many Republicans are arguing that this is just what President Obama said he wouldn’t do, reduce the number of choices that citizens have regarding their health insurance.  But consumer advocates say that these changes have been needed for years and will only benefit the population by reducing confusion.

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