Thursday, August 17, 2000

HMO dilemma addressed

ProSeniors to sponsor meetings about options

By Tim Bonfield
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        With thousands of seniors facing the loss of their Medicare HMO coverage next year, the Tristate advocacy group ProSeniors will hold two meetings next week to help people sort through their options.

        The meetings will feature William Hambley, a ProSeniors attorney who specializes in Medicare issues. The sessions will be at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Tuesday at the Maple Knoll Senior Center, 11199 Springfield Pike, Springdale.

        “We've been getting a lot of calls from seniors asking what they should do. What we're really worried about is that some people are jumping too soon,” said Garlinn Story, ProSeniors executive director.

        Earlier this year, three of the five Medicare HMOs operating in Greater Cincinnati announced they will pull out of the market effective Jan. 1: Aetna U.S. Healthcare, Humana and PacifiCare.

        Two Medicare HMOs will remain in business, offered by United HealthCare and Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield.

        Seniors being dropped from an HMO have several options, including switching to another HMO or buying standard Medicare supplemental insurance. However, many experts have been advising seniors to wait until at least October before attempting to rearrange their coverage.

        Trying to switch into some types of plans too soon could expose seniors to pre-existing condition exclusions. Also, next year's rates and benefits from the two surviving HMOs won't be public until at least mid-September.

        To reserve a space for the no-cost meetings, call 345-4160, ext. 225.


Nuclear waste passing through
Second St. opening just in time for Reds, Bengals
'Hill-hopping' driver to get treatment
Police say student's car may have prompted slaying
Obituary: David Peet excelled at creative endeavors
Ruling upheld in Justin case
Sports face determined opponent in ministers
Boys drop pleas in sex-assault case
Deal puts vendors back on streets
- HMO dilemma addressed
Maccabi Games bring together 1,300 Jewish youngsters
One step away from being a bishop
Paratroopers fill skies over Lunken
PULFER: Get-well notes from pet lovers
Taft hears opinions on schools
Delegates can live with Lieberman
WILKINSON: Labor has qualms over Gore
Chesley among elite fund-raisers
CROWLEY: Lucas' decision cheered
Democrats claim GOP was faking diversity at convention
Shalala says GOP puts Social Security at risk
Busy Patton shines at Demo convention
Cool looks in back-to-school clothes
KIESEWETTER: It gets hot in 'Millionaire' lifeline seat
Pig Parade: Hamlich Maneuver
Stallone's mom sees future in her dogs
We want to know about 'Survivor' parties
Clermont grant for disaster aid
Committee control contested
Federal fugitive's daughter in trouble with law herself
Firefighters sent to battle Idaho blaze
Help for heart attacks will be nearer
Owner sues to get back Rose photo
Police: Abduction of girl didn't happen
Revival led by building, sculpture
Woman says husband caused crash