BCBS to double premiums of Medicare plan

Posted by: Cody Holyoke - bio | email

PRATTVILLE, AL (WSFA) - It's what Prattville resident Jack Koch calls the 'October Surprise'.

"I received two letters.  Two packages in the mail at the same time," he explained.

The first letter arrived a little more than a week ago--from Koch's opthomologist.

The news wasn't good.

"They said they're not certain they can continue to give the level of care they've been giving," Koch explained.

Then, he received notice from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama.   The literature showed Koch some major changes about to hit his Medicare Advantage Preferred insurance policy.

"They informed me that my premium has simply doubled. Not 25%.  Not 50%.  Not 75%, but 100%, Koch said.

The premium is set to spike from $71 to $142 per month.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama tells WSFA 12 News Koch's plan--the 'Medicare Advantage Preferred Plan'--is the only one taking a major hit.

The 'Medicare Advantage Plus' plan will increase from $39 to $41 per month.

The 'Medicare Advantage Value' plan will remain unchanged.

Still, the punch--along with noted drops in coverage--makes it hard to process.

"Those of us who are retired and on fixed income--we have a pretty rough problem with this," Kosh said.

The insurance company says in a statement, "The increase in this plan is the result of Medicare cutting funding to all Medicare Plans across the board and high utilization."

With a bill in Congress which critics say include more cuts, Koch is preparing for some more surprises in the months ahead.

"We're not reduced to poverty quite yet, but we're working on it," he joked.

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