MANAGED CARE PLAN EXPANDS TO INCLUDE MEDICARE BENEFICIARIES IN 2 COUNTIES OUTSIDE NEW YORK CITY
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) today approved a request by Oxford Health Plan of New York to expand managed care coverage to Medicare beneficiaries in Orange and Rockland, N.Y., counties outside New York City.
Oxford Health Plan of New York, based in Trumbull, Conn., will begin serving beneficiaries on June 1 in the two counties, including the cities of Middletown, New City, Newburgh and Nyack. Medicare beneficiaries can sign up for the plan during the current open enrollment for Medicare Advantage, formerly known as Medicare+Choice. About 89,000 beneficiaries live in the two counties.
"We are pleased Oxford Health Plan decided to expand this plan to include more Medicare beneficiaries in the New York metro area,” HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson said. "Under the Medicare reform law signed by President Bush, Medicare will provide all seniors - no matter where they live - with better health insurance options, including prescription drug coverage and preventive care. The law is achieving the President's goals of strengthening and modernizing Medicare.”
The company, which began serving beneficiaries in 1991 in New York, currently serves beneficiaries in the five boroughs of New York City. Oxford Health Plan is a subsidiary of Oxford Health Plans Inc., also based in Trumbull.
The plan, which does business as Oxford Medicare Advantage, gives beneficiaries in Orange and Rockland counties another health care choice. In Rockland County, the other Medicare Advantage plans currently available are Aetna Health, Empire Blue Cross, GHI PPO and Wellcare. Orange County is not currently served by any other Medicare Advantage plan.
“We want to make sure all Medicare beneficiaries, whether in a Medicare Advantage plan or fee-for-service, are receiving the highest quality health care," said CMS
Administrator Mark McClellan, M.D., Ph.D. "We are doing more to guarantee that beneficiaries understand the Medicare coverage options available to them. We also are reminding beneficiaries of the need to work closely with the doctors and other health care providers that give them medical care."
Medicare Advantage HMOs and fee-for-service plans are available where private companies choose to offer them. Currently, about 4.6 million Medicare beneficiaries -- out of a total of about 40 million aged and disabled Americans – have enrolled in Medicare HMOs. Original fee-for-service Medicare, currently chosen by more than 35 million beneficiaries, is available to all beneficiaries.
Medicare has a far-reaching consumer information program that includes a national toll-free phone number -- 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) or TTY/TDD, at 877-486-2048 -- an Internet site -- www.medicare.gov -- and a coalition of more than 200 national and local organizations to provide seniors more information.