The University Record, August 13, 2001

M-CARE enrollment changes affect Medicare+Choice plans

From Health System Public Relations

The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have approved a plan by M-CARE to stop new enrollment in its Medicare+Choice plans.

The move, which is related to Medicare reimbursement issues and recent actions by other Medicare+Choice providers in the metropolitan Detroit area, will not cause any current M-CARE Medicare+Choice members to lose their coverage. It also does not affect current or future members of M-CARE’s HMO, Point-of-Service plan or GradCare.

Current members of M-CARE commercial plans who will become eligible for Medicare while the limit is in place still will be able to enroll in the Medicare+Choice plans.

However, the plans, called M-CARE Senior Plan and M-CARE Senior Plan Prestige, were closed to new members as of Aug. 1.

M-CARE Medicare+Choice products currently cover members throughout southeast Michigan.

“It was a difficult decision to stop enrollment in what we know are desirable plans for Medicare-eligible residents of southeastern Michigan,” says Zelda Geyer-Sylvia, executive director of M-CARE. “We are, however, planning to maintain these products in 2002, at a time other managed care organizations are dropping theirs due to reimbursement payments from the federal government that are not keeping pace with medical costs.

“We do hope to open the plans again in the future so more people can have access to our innovative programs and top-notch providers,” Geyer-Sylvia says. “Our decision to temporarily stop enrollment also helps us continue to provide quality services for our current members.”

M-CARE is evaluating its Medicare+Choice coverage for the coming benefit year for certain provider networks and geographic areas, and will follow CMS regulations for informing members if any changes will be made.

For more information, call M-CARE customer service, (734) 332-2998 or (800) 228-8554, 8 a.m.–5 p.m. Mon.–Fri. or send e-mail to custserv@mcare.org.