Optima Health based out of Virginia will no longer be offering Medicare Advantage plans in 2012 according to an article by hamptonroads.com. The article sites that the company lost 20 million dollars the last two years as the reason for the decision to no longer offer the Medicare Advantage plans. The cities in Virginia affected by the plan leaving are Charlottesville, Hampton Roads, Richmond, and Winchester.
Optima Medicare Plans Discontinuing Leaves Questions Unanswered
The interesting part of this process is that the Optima Health website says nothing about the plans not renewing for 2012. The company offered two plans titled Optima Medicare Value PPO and Optima Medicare Value Plus PPO in 2011. The website is offering enrollments still for 2011, but says nothing about enrollments for 2012. Clearly you should not enroll at this point if your are turning 65 and eligible for Medicare in the remainder of 2011. So what do you do if you have an Optima Medicare plan now? Well, actually the plan leaving is a good thing. Any time a plan ceases to operate in an area, the existing members are granted an SEP or Special Election Period. This SEP gives you the ability to sign up for any other plan you want with no health questions. The biggest benefit is for those wanting a Medicare supplement. Most supplement companies have underwriting requirements for you to sign up for their supplement. With the SEP you will not have to answer these underwriting questions! This is especially helpful for you if you have any conditions that normally disqualify you for coverage. Go to www.medicare.gov and find the plans that are available in your area. You will want to find one that offers an extensive network with good benefits. Many companies have improved their offerings for 2012. Happy hunting!