Jun 22—Morro Bay resident George Garrigues acquired sudden information when a letter arrived within the mail, informing him that he has till Aug. 1 to discover a new Medicare insurance coverage supplier.

“It was a shock,” the retired journalism professor stated. “And August will not be too distant.”

Garrigues, who’s 90 years outdated, enrolled within the Golden State Medicare Well being Plan when he moved to San Luis Obispo County after years utilizing the Kaiser Permanente system.

The California Division of Managed Well being Care, the state governing company managed well being care plans, ordered Golden State Medicare Well being Plan to finish all current contracts with present purchasers on or earlier than June 1, with Medicare protection ending on August 1, in keeping with a settlement settlement dated February 2022.

The important thing motive Golden State Medicare Well being Plan misplaced its Medicare license was its failure to keep up good monetary standing. The well being plan was working at a deficit of roughly $35 million as of December 2021, in keeping with the settlement settlement.

“Given (Golden State Medicare Well being Plan)’s dire monetary situation and its clear lack of ability to function its enterprise in a fashion to permit it to adjust to even the minimal monetary necessities of all (state) licenses, revocation of (its) well being plan license is suitable and pressing,” in keeping with a July 2021 courtroom submitting outlining the accusations towards Golden State.

The Golden State Medicare Well being Plan serviced roughly 4,966 purchasers as of April 2021, in keeping with the July 2021 courtroom submitting.

Shoppers of Golden State had been unfold all through eight California counties, together with San Luis Obispo, in keeping with a 2022 abstract of advantages.

Seniors with Golden State Medicare Well being Plan seek for new insurance coverage

Garrigues advised The Tribune that when he selected the Golden State Medicare Well being Plan, he did not meet with a Well being Insurance coverage Counseling & Advocacy Program (HICAP) supplier first.

HICAP is a statewide community of nonprofit organizations which might be licensed to offer unbiased details about Medicare choices to seniors.

However now that his Medicare protection is being discontinued, Garrigues stated he needed to know his well being plan choices.

Garrigues stated he referred to as numerous HICAP companies but it surely was laborious to get an appointment.

He drove from Morro Bay to the Central Coast Fee for Senior Residents workplace in Santa Maria, which serves San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties, to speak about well being plans on Wednesday.

Throughout his appointment, the HICAP advisor reviewed numerous well being plan choices with Garrigues and helped him decide concerning the plan that most closely fits his wants, he stated.

By the point his appointment was over, Garrigues selected a brand new Medicare well being plan.

SLO County residents with questions concerning the suspension of the Golden State Medicare Well being Plan, or different medical insurance questions, could make an appointment with a SLO County HICAP supplier by calling 805-928-5663 or visiting centralcoastseniors.org/hicap.

This story was initially revealed June 22, 2022 2:13 PM.

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