Federal Judge Mandates Medicare+Choice Mailings
Judge Henry Kennedy of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that the HHS must send out information about private health plans participating in Medicare+Choice to 40 million seniors via mail by Oct. 16, the AP/Cleveland Plain Dealer reports. HHS officials originally planned on giving health plans a deadline extension "to decide whether to participate" in the program. In addition, the department planned to release the information via the Internet and a "24-hour, seven-day toll-free telephone" service, arguing that mailing the information would be "too costly." The judge sided with "consumer groups" who "complained that the delay was unfair" to the elderly (AP/Cleveland Plain Dealer, 8/14).