Bennet backs Medicare cost contracts

Rocky Mountain Health Plans would be allowed to continue offering Medicare plans that are reimbursed on a reasonable cost basis under legislation backed by Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo.

Existing law requires Rocky Mountain Health Plans, based in Grand Junction, to withdraw the plan from about 23,000 seniors on the Western Slope at the end of the year.

“It’s a big deal to our Medicare beneficiaries because there is no alternative,” Rocky Mountain Health Plans President Steve ErkenBrack said.

Medicare cost plans ensure the availability of private health plan choices for beneficiaries living in predominantly rural areas.

Medicare cost contracts are managed-care plans that are reimbursed on a cost basis for providing health services.

“We can’t let Colorado’s seniors lose their access to affordable, quality health care,” Bennet said. “Medicare cost plans have provided quality, cost-
effective services to Colorado’s seniors for over 30 years. This bill will ensure that seniors living in Colorado’s rural communities will continue to receive quality health care.”

In addition to the Rocky customers, the bill would affect 574 seniors living in the San Luis Valley.

The Medicare Cost Contract Extension and Refinement Act of 2009, S. 130,  would extend Medicare cost contract plans an additional three years.

The measure is sponsored by Sens. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and George Voinovich, R-Ohio.


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