If we leave the Medicare program or change our service area so that it no longer includes the area where you live, we will tell you in writing.
If this happens, your membership in Blue Advantage (HMO) and Blue Advantage (PPO) will end, and you will have to change to another way of getting your Medicare benefits.
All of the benefits and rules described in the Evidence of Coverage will continue until your membership ends. This means that you must continue to get your medical care in the usual way through our plan until your membership ends.
Your choices for how to get your Medicare coverage will always include Original Medicare and joining a Prescription Drug Plan to complement your Original Medicare coverage.
Your choices may also include joining another Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, and its subsidiary, HMO Louisiana, Inc. plan, another Medicare Advantage plan, or a Private Fee-for-Service plan, if these plans are available in your area and are accepting new members.
Once we have told you in writing that we are leaving the Medicare program or the area where you live, you will have a chance to change to another way of getting your Medicare benefits.
If you decide to change from Blue Advantage to Original Medicare, you will have the right to buy a Medigap policy regardless of your health. This is called a “guaranteed issue right” and is explained in the Evidence of Coverage.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, and its subsidiary, HMO Louisiana, Inc. have a contract with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the government agency that runs Medicare.
This contract renews each year. At the end of each year, the contract is reviewed, and either Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, and its subsidiary, HMO Louisiana, Inc. or CMS can decide to end it.
You will get 90 days advance notice in this situation. It is also possible for our contract to end at some other time during the year.
In these situations we will try to tell you 90 days in advance, but your advance notice may be as little as 30 or fewer days if CMS must end our contract in the middle of the year.
Whenever a Medicare health plan leaves the Medicare program or stops serving your area, you will be provided a special enrollment period to make choices about how you get Medicare coverage, including choosing a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan and guaranteed issue rights to a Medigap policy.
Generally, we cannot ask you to leave the plan because of your health. If you ever feel that you are being encouraged or asked to leave our plan because of your health, you should call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227), which is the national Medicare help line. TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048. You can call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
We can ask you to leave the plan under certain special conditions. If any of the following situations occur, we will end your Blue Advantage membership: