MANAGED CARE PLAN EXPANDS TO INCLUDE MEDICARE BENEFICIARIES IN BROWARD COUNTY, FLA.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) today approved a request by America’s Health Choice Medical Plans Inc. to expand its managed care plan to Medicare beneficiaries in Broward County, Fla., including the cities of Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood.
America’s Health Choice Medical Plans, based in Vero Beach, Fla., can begin serving beneficiaries on Sept. 1, 2003, in Broward County. About 250,000 beneficiaries live in the county. Beneficiaries can sign up for the plan during the current Medicare+Choice open enrollment.
The company, which operates as America’s Health Choice, began serving beneficiaries in Florida in 2000. It currently operates a Medicare+Choice plan throughout the counties of Indian River, Martin, Okeechobee, Palm Beach and St. Lucie, and southern Brevard County.
"We are pleased America’s Health Choice Medical Plans has decided to expand this health plan to include more Medicare beneficiaries in South Florida," HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson said. "The reality is, Medicare should provide all seniors - no matter where they live - with better health insurance options, including prescription drug coverage and preventive care. The President's goals for strengthening and modernizing Medicare will move us closer to that goal."
The plan gives Medicare beneficiaries in Broward County, currently served by nine Medicare+Choice organizations, another health care choice.
"We want to make sure all Medicare beneficiaries, whether in a Medicare+Choice plan or fee-for-service, are receiving the highest quality health care," CMS Administrator Tom Scully said. "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+Choice 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.