MANAGED CARE PLAN OFFERED TO MEDICARE BENEFICIARIES IN MANHATTAN, THE BRONX, BROOKLYN, QUEENS IN N.Y. CITY
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has approved a request by Neighborhood Health Providers, LLC. to offer managed care coverage to Medicare beneficiaries in Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens in New York City.
Neighborhood Health Providers is now serving beneficiaries in these four New York City boroughs. Medicare beneficiaries can sign up for the plan during the current open enrollment in Medicare Advantage, formerly known as Medicare+Choice. About 920,000 beneficiaries live in the four boroughs.
"We are pleased Neighborhood Health Providers decided to offer this health plan to beneficiaries in New York City,” 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.”
Neighborhood Health Providers, a wholly owned managed care organization, is a provider-sponsored, limited liability company formed in 1995 by its members - Linroc Community Holdings Corp. Inc. and the Jamaica Hospital Medical Center. The company will give another health care option to beneficiaries living in New York City. Beneficiaries currently are served in these four boroughs by Aetna, Americhoice, Elderplan, Empire Blue Cross/Blue Shield, GHI, Health Net of NY, HealthFirst, HIP, Oxford, United Healthcare and WellCare.
"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."
Since Dec. 8, 2003, when President Bush signed the Medicare Modernization Act into law, CMS has approved 41 new contracts with Medicare health plans and 57 service area expansions. There are currently 38 applications pending for new contracts and 26 service area expansions pending.
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.