Alegent Health Reiterates Decision on Medicare Advantage Plans
Release Date: 11/20/2007

    ... Print    RSS

Omaha, Neb. – As Seniors make selections on private Medicare replacement products during this open enrollment period, Alegent Health hospitals and clinics will see Medicare-eligible patients only through traditional Medicare and all MediGap (Medicare Supplement) policies. Alegent Health is not participating in non-governmental Medicare Advantage private fee-for-service (PFFS) replacement plans in any of our service areas in Nebraska or Iowa, except under emergency situations. Some of these plans include Humana Gold Choice, Unicare Security Choice, Secure Horizons Medicare Complete Essential, Sterling, Coventry Advantra Freedom and Today’s Options. In addition, Alegent Health is not participating as an in-network provider for any private Medicare HMO, POS or PPO products in our market such as Secure Horizons Medicare Complete HMO, POS, MedicareBlue PPO (Blue Cross and Blue Shield), or Coventry Advantra Plantinum, Silver or Gold. Some of the PPO/POS plans have out of network benefits, so patients must check with their health plan to see if they can use the Alegent Health providers as out of network.

Scott Wooten, Alegent Health senior vice president and chief financial officer, explained, “As the largest provider of Medicare services in the region, we see over 100,000 Medicare patients every year and are committed to Medicare. We do not participate in non-governmental Medicare private fee-for-service replacement plans because we are concerned about the long-term viability of private Medicare products. History indicates that many private insurers have withdrawn from the Medicare programs, leaving seniors to seek out an alternative product or return to Medicare.” Wooten stated the example of the more than 2.3 million seniors dropped from their private Medicare plans between 1999 and 2004, because their plans withdrew from participating with Medicare. Wooten also noted that Alegent Health has experienced administrative and payment issues with private Medicare replacement plans.

Traditional Medicare has been in existence for many years and Wooten believes it will continue to be around for many future generations to come. Additionally, there are many Medicare Prescription Part D options available for seniors who remain with traditional Medicare. Comparison information is available on www.Medicare.gov.

For those still considering purchasing one of the non-governmental Medicare replacement plans, Wooten suggests, “Before purchasing one of these plans, it is very important to verify that your health care providers are participating with the plan.”