Letters will be going out this week to low-income Medicare beneficiaries in Arizona who have Medicare and AHCCCS (Arizona Medicaid). As of October 1st, all dual eligibles must have the same AHCCCS health plan as their Medicare Advantage plan. The letter will inform people whose AHCCCS plan is different from their Medicare Advantage plan that they will be assigned a new AHCCCS plan.
Here is an excerpt from the AHCCCS re-assignment letter:
Beginning 10/1/2013, you will be enrolled in the AHCCCS health plan listed above because it matches the Medicare Advantage plan that you are currently enrolled in. This will make it easier for you to get both your AHCCCS and your Medicare services and for your providers to care for your health needs.
If you would like to remain in your current AHCCCS plan, you must let AHCCCS know on or before 8/30/2013. In some cases, your current AHCCCS health plan may be going away so you may need to choose a new plan.
There are Medicare Advantage plans designed for people who also have AHCCCS. These “special needs plans” (SNPs) offer more benefits than regular Advantage plans. “Dual SNPs” are supposed to make sure their low-income members have no co-pays by coordinating with a person’s AHCCCS plan. That means making sure the member uses doctors who are in their Advantage plan network and their AHCCCS plan network.
Not every dual eligible person is enrolled in a SNP Medicare Advantage plan. Some use their Medicare card, while others are enrolled in what I call “regular” Advantage plans like those offered by Caremore, Humana, AARP Medicare Complete, and Health Net. I wonder what will happen with them?
UPDATE (8/11/2013): The answer to the question in the last paragraph is: Nothing will happen to duals who are enrolled in “regular” Medicare Advantage plans. They get to stay in their plan because AHCCCS can’t force them to change their Medicare plan.
And then there are several thousand people enrolled in the Health Net Amber plan in Pima County. Because Health Net will not have an AHCCCS plan in Pima County in 2014, Amber is being canceled as of January 1, 2014. Health Net has not told brokers when they will inform people enrolled in this plan that it is being canceled.
The letter also says:
To enroll in the new AHCCCS health plan listed above you do not need to do anything. If you want to learn more about remaining in your current AHCCCS health plan or enrolling in a new plan, you can use the phone or the internet to make the change by 8/30/2013
To talk to AHCCCS customer service (Monday-Friday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.):
Call (602) 417-7100 from area codes (602), (623), and (480). Call 1-800-962-6690 from any other area codes.