The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will ensure continuous medical and prescription drug coverage for beneficiaries enrolled in Universal Health Care Medicare health plans that terminated April 1. These Medicare Advantage contracts were sponsored by Florida-based Universal Health Care, Inc. (UHC) and Universal Health Care Insurance Company, Inc. (UHIC). UHC and UHIC were ordered into receivership for purposes of rehabilitation and liquidation by the Second Judicial Circuit Court in Tallahassee, Fla. The Florida Department of Financial Services is the court-appointed receiver of both UHC and UHIC. In Arizona, UHIC serves 2,893 Medicare beneficiaries.
CMS is working to ensure that all affected beneficiaries are able to access needed medical providers and facilities and that those beneficiaries with current prescription drug coverage experience no break or gap in drug coverage.
CMS is committed to providing Medicare beneficiaries with high value health care and ensuring that Medicare beneficiaries are adequately protected during this transition.
What will happen now
Beneficiaries currently enrolled in UHIC will not experience a gap in their Medicare coverage. Effective April 1, 2013, CMS will automatically enroll beneficiaries who are currently UHIC enrollees in Original Medicare through which they will be able to obtain Original Medicare (Part A and B) coverage.
Those beneficiaries who also currently have prescription drug coverage through UHIC will be enrolled into a comparable Prescription Drug Plan, either Coventry Health Care, Inc., or Envision Insurance Company.
Beneficiaries can learn which Prescription Drug Plan they are enrolled in by contacting 1-800-MEDICARE.
Beneficiaries impacted by the contract termination will receive a notice in the mail explaining the changes in coverage and providing information about their new prescription drug coverage. They will also receive a letter from their new prescription drug plan.
Beneficiaries will be able to continue to see their current primary and specialty care providers under Original Medicare. Those currently in the hospital or receiving skilled nursing care or other medical treatments will continue with such care without interruption.
Other options open to beneficiaries
Affected beneficiaries can choose to enroll in another Medicare Advantage or Prescription Drug Plan, if they do not want to remain in Original Medicare or the newly assigned PDP. They have been granted a special election period during which they may make one change in their Medicare health care and prescription drug plan coverage. This special election period is in effect now through May 31, 2013. Coverage in the new plan is effective the first of the month following their plan selection.
Resources for Medicare beneficiaries
Beneficiaries and their caregivers can call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) if they have difficulty accessing care or wish to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan or a different Prescription Drug Plan.
For more information about coverage options, including special rights to purchase a Medigap policy and assistance paying Medicare premiums, deductibles and coinsurance, please contact the Arizona Department of Economic Security at (800) 432-4040 or (602) 542-4446.