Blue Cross La. dropping drug plan for seniors

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is dropping its RxBlue prescription drug plans in 2014, which means 13,000 seniors enrolled in the Blue plans will have to find new Medicare Part D coverage.

Blue Cross notified RxBlue members by letter they will need to join another Medicare drug plan in 2014. Members can join a new plan anytime between Oct. 15 and Feb. 28.

However, if you don’t join a new Medicare drug plan by December 31, you won’t have drug coverage starting January 1, 2014,” the letter says.

The letter provides sources for prescription drug plans, such as medicare.gov.

And Blue Cross’s website, http://www.bcbsla.com, provides a link to a list of the other Medicare drug plans available in Louisiana as of Oct. 1.

The Advocate reports (http://bit.ly/19KBjc4 ) neither the Blue Cross letter nor the company’s website explain why it is dropping the RxBlue prescription plans.

Blue Cross spokesman John Maginnis said Monday the company didn’t have enough resources to meet the needs of its members and the people expected to join through the health insurance marketplace created by the federal Affordable Care Act.

Blue Cross is one of four companies offering plans through the health insurance marketplace, and the only one offering plans in all coverage levels throughout the state.

The company said it chose to end RxBlue after evaluating its existing plans, networks and benefits, along with the coming changes with implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

Figures from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services show that nationwide, 1,169 Medicare prescription drug plans will be available in 2014, an increase of 13 percent over 2013.

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Information from: The Advocate, http://theadvocate.com

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