Medicare beneficiaries who have lost their healthcare coverage offered through Physicians United Plan will have a chance to participate in a special election period to retain that coverage.
The termination, which takes effect July 1, affected approximately 38,000 Medicare beneficiaries throughout Florida, including Pasco, Hillsborough, Pinellas and Polk counties, according to the Area Agency on Aging of Pasco-Pinellas Inc.
PUP beneficiaries were transferred to traditional Medicare effective June 1, however many enrollees will not have the same type of coverage they did before June 1. The aging agency is encouraging those affected by the change to visit Medicare.gov for a list of approved services under original Medicare, and ask questions by calling (800) 633-4227.
Those looking to take advantage of the special enrollment period will have their choice of keeping the original Medicare plan with the assigned prescription benefits, purchasing a Medicare supplement policy, or a new Medicare advantage plan. The effective coverage date will be the first of the month following enrollment into the plan.
The special enrollment period will last until Aug. 31. The Florida Department of Elder Affairs and other aging agencies are providing plan comparison and enrollment assistance through the Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders, or SHINE, program. The program is a free and unbiased Medicare counseling program that can help beneficiaries whose coverage has changed to choose a new prescription drug plan, or enroll in a state or federal Medicare cost-saving program.
For information, call the elder helpline at (800) 963-5337, or visit FloridaSHINE.org.