MEDICARE HMOs: Rural Seniors Have Few Options
Seniors in rural Yuba and Sutter counties face dwindling health care options in the aftermath of Health Net's withdrawal of its Medicare HMO, the Sacramento Bee reports. "They claim their expenses are too high in the rural areas and so they want to get rid of us," one senior said. "Legally, they are on good ground. Morally, I think it's reprehensible," she added. But Health Net Vice President Michael Myers said federal Medicare reimbursements "were not meeting our expenses" and that the HMO "could no longer sustain those counties." Compared to their neighbors in Sacramento County, for example, who have several Medicare HMOs to choose from, seniors in Yuba and Sutter counties "feel like second-class citizens," the Bee reports. Darla Adams of Yuba-Sutter Senior Services said rural seniors "feel somewhat discriminated against" because they "have paid into the Social Security system just as much as anyone else," but now must pay more out of pocket as they are forced to go back to traditional Medicare (Griffith, 11/29). Click here for previous coverage of Health Net's decision to withdraw from Yuba and Sutter counties.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.