MANAGED CARE PLAN EXPANDS TO INCLUDE MEDICARE BENEFICIARIES IN PALM BEACH COUNTY, FLORIDA
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) today approved a request by CarePlus Health Plans Inc. to expand managed care coverage to Medicare beneficiaries in Palm Beach County in southeastern Florida.
CarePlus Health Plans, based in Coral Gables, Fla., is now serving beneficiaries in Palm Beach County. Medicare beneficiaries can sign up for the plan during the current open enrollment for Medicare Advantage, formerly known as Medicare+Choice. About 250,000 beneficiaries live in the county.
"We are pleased CarePlus Health Plans decided to expand this health plan to include Medicare beneficiaries in Florida in Palm Beach County, ” 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.”
CarePlus Health Plans began serving beneficiaries in 1994 in Miami-Dade and Broward counties in Florida.
“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."
CarePlus Health Plan gives beneficiaries in Palm Beach County another health care option to select. The other Medicare Advantage plans currently operating in the county are America’s Health Choice Medical Plan, Well Care HMO Inc., Health Options, Humana Medical Plan Inc., Vista Health Plan Inc. and United Healthcare Florida Inc.
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.