CMS Terminates Western Health Advantage’s Medicare Contract

CMS Terminates Western Health Advantage’s Medicare Contract

During our California Medicare Coalition statewide call yesterday, a representative from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Region IX office announced that CMS is terminating its contract with the Western Health Advantage plan as of May 31, 2010. This will affect about 600 Medicare beneficiaries in Sacramento, Yolo and Placer counties. These beneficiaries will be automatically enrolled into Humana’s Part D prescription drug plan as of June 1st. They will also be given a 30-day Special Election Period (SEP) to enroll into a different plan by July 31, 2010.

CMS sent out a letter to affected enrollees this week with this information, and advised them to call 1-800 Medicare or their local Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program (HICAP) with any questions.

Julie Cohen at CMS Region IX is overseeing this transition. Advocates with client questions can contact her at julie.cohen(at)cms.hhs.gov.

Our blogger Karen J. Fletcher is CHA's publications consultant. She provides technical expertise, writing and research on Medicare, health disparities and other health care issues. With a Masters in Public Health from UC Berkeley, she serves in health advocacy as a trainer and consultant. See her current articles.