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Medicare Minus Choice: The Impact of HMO Withdrawals on Rural Medicare Beneficiaries

Publication Date: May 1st, 2002
Publication Type(s): Peer-reviewed Journal Publications
Topic(s):
Author(s): Casey, M., Knott, A., and Moscovice I.

Health Affairs 21:192-199, 2002.

A disproportionate share of the Medicare beneficiaries who lost coverage as a result of recent health maintenance organization (HMO) withdrawals have been from rural areas. Rural beneficiaries are less likely than urban beneficiaries are to have another Medicare+Choice (M+C) option. We surveyed a nationwide random sample of 1,093 rural beneficiaries to assess the impact of HMO withdrawals. A high proportion of beneficiaries ended up without any coverage beyond traditional Medicare; on average, beneficiaries experienced significant increases in premiums; and the proportion of beneficiaries with prescription drug coverage decreased significantly.

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