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Ask the Expert: Why are Medicare Cost plans going away?

Answers provided by Paul J. Hamilton, founding partner of Medicare Insurance Advisors

Why are Medicare Cost plans being eliminated?

A federal law implemented recently will eliminate certain health insurance options across Minnesota. As a result, over 370,000 Minnesotans that currently have a Medicare Cost plan will be required to switch to another plan for 2019. This new law requires all health insurance companies to stop offering Cost plans in 66 Minnesota counties.

How will the Medicare Cost plan affect me?

Those living in one of the counties that Medicare Cost plans are ending should have received a notification in the mail this summer from their insurance company explaining that the Cost plan in being eliminated.

Paul and Patricia Hamilton, who operate Medicare Insurance Advisors in Sartell, can help customers understand the new Medicare changes in store for 2019 free of charge. Contributed photo

What other kinds of Medicare plans will be available in 2019?

There are several plan options to choose from for Medicare coverage in 2019, such as and Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plans and Medicare Advantage plans (MA-PD) with prescription drug coverage included, which have been very effective forms of health insurance coverage. Deciding on which plan suits you best will depend on things like your current health status, prescription medications you currently use, your physician preference, and your budget. You have a guaranteed issue right, meaning an insurance company cannot refuse to sell you certain Medigap policies, and they also cannot charge you more for a Medigap policy because of a past or present health problem. Because these various plans depend on so many variables, it’s best to visit with experts like the agents/brokers at Medicare Insurance Advisors.

How can I stay up to date on Cost plan changes that affect me?

Details about the 2019 Medicare Advantage plans will become available for shopping on Oct. 1, 2018. You can then expect to receive information and reminders from your current health insurer. If you have any questions, you can call Medicare Insurance Advisors at no cost.

Question: When can I enroll in a new Medicare plan for 2019?

You can choose a new Medicare plan during the annual election period (AEP) from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. Your new plan coverage will begin on Jan. 1, 2019.

Find Out More

Paul Hamilton and his wife Patricia are available to answer any questions on the new Medicare plan changes for 2019 free of charge. They can offer a wide range of Medicare plans and can compare plans, benefits and prices from various health insurance companies and explain the coverage available to you. Their office is located at 2107 Troop Drive in Sartell.

For more information or to set up an appointment, call 320-654-6100 or email

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