By Candice Conway, Minnesota River Area Agency on Aging, Inc., Slayton
This fall, many Minnesotans on Medicare will be affected by changes in their Medicare. This is due to the sunsetting or ending of many Medicare Cost Plans throughout the country and in many of Minnesota’s counties. This is especially a big issue in our state, as Cost Plans have been a favorite type of Medicare plan for decades because they are so flexible. And Minnesota by far has the most Cost Plan beneficiaries of any other state in the nation.
The ending of Cost Plans in most counties means that those who currently have them will need to make some important decisions in the fall during Medicare Open Enrollment. For now, there isn’t much to do. Those with Cost Plans will continue to have coverage through Dec. 31, 2018, and in some counties, Cost Plan coverage will continue in 2019. You can contact your Medicare plan to find out if you have a Cost Plan, so you’ll be ready if you need to make a change in the fall, if need be. And by mid-September, Medicare and the Cost Plans will send out letters to those affected by this change, which will provide next steps.
So for now, you’re covered, and there is nothing you need to do. Just relax and enjoy your summer. But in the fall, you’ll need to act and make changes for 2019, if you’re one of Minnesota’s Medicare beneficiaries on Cost Plans living in a county affected by the change. Don’t worry, you will have a lot of coverage options. And the Senior LinkAge Line can help if you need it.