MEDICARE HMOs: Foundation Announces Withdrawal From Two More California Counties
Three months after Foundation Health Systems Inc. pulled Medicare HMO programs in ten California counties, the company today announced that it is withdrawing coverage in two additional counties -- Tulare and Kings -- effective January 1. Foundation executives said the decision to withdraw from the counties was made in response to low Medicare reimbursement rates, echoing the complaints of numerous health plans that have exited the Medicare HMO market in recent months. Foundation CEO Jay Gellert said, "FHS is committed to its Medicare line of business; however, we cannot continue to operate in areas where reimbursement rates don't reflect trends in actual medical costs. ... FHS will remain in areas where we can adequately provide beneficiaries with quality health care services and where the economics are sound." In addition to the two California counties, Foundation will pull Medicare HMO coverage from eight counties in Colorado, two counties in New Mexico and six counties in Washington, affecting approximately 22,700 enrollees. Gellert said Foundation is working closely with the Health Care Financing Administration to ensure a smooth transition to alternative health plans for those impacted by the decision. Click here to read recent California Healthline coverage of Medicare HMOs.This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.