38,000-plus Blue Cross Medicare enrollees received termination notices by mistake

Via the Minneapolis Star-Tribune:

More than 38,000 Medicare beneficiaries with health plans from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota are wrongly receiving termination notices, prompting the Eagan-based insurer to begin calling subscribers to explain the mistake.  The letters are related to the elimination of Medicare Cost health plans at the end of the year, which will prompt true health plan terminations for an estimated 320,000 seniors across much of Minnesota.  The change won’t affect consumers in 21 Minnesota counties  but those are the Blue Cross customers who were wrongly sent the termination notices, according to statements Tuesday from Blue Cross and the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).  The federal agency said Blue Cross provided the government with bad information, which explains why CMS sent about 38,700 enrollee letters.  “CMS reached out to affected plans to ask them to provide information on which enrollees should receive nonrenewal notices,” the agency said in a statement to the Star Tribune.

“One of the plans, Blue Cross Blue Shield of MN, inadvertently sent us incorrect enrollment [information] for 21 counties resulting in CMS sending nonrenewal notices to enrollees in these counties even though the counties are not being non-renewed,” CMS said. “BCBS/MN recognized its error and we are working together to swiftly resolve this issue on behalf of beneficiaries.”  In addition to making phone calls, Blue Cross said Tuesday in a statement to the Star Tribune: “In the coming weeks, these members also will receive mailed materials from Blue Cross that confirm the availability of their same plan for next year.” The insurer has posted information on its website about the change, as well.

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