22,000 seniors left in the cold by Harvard Pilgrim

22,000 seniors left in the cold by Harvard Pilgrim

September 29, 2010

The second-largest health insurance provider of Massachusetts, Harvard Pilgrim, has announced that it will end coverage for those who are subscribed to its Medicare Advantage plan at the end of the year, according to The Boston Globe.

The decision comes after new legislation has frozen current reimbursement rates and mandated that the company deal only with a certain network of doctors, rather than allowing patients to seek any physician.

Currently, Medicare Advantage offers seniors a healthcare plan that has policies which are not in normal Medicare subscriptions. Many of these are designed to cover prescription medications, the news source reports.

However, the plan has proven too costly to the government, which is attempting to reduce how much money is spent on the programs in order to fund national healthcare reform. These cuts have made it difficult for Harvard Pilgrim to continue the program.

“We became concerned by the long-term viability of Medicare Advantage programs in general,” Lynn Bowman, vice president of customer service at the company’s office in Quincy, told the news provider.

Those looking to reduce medical costs by avoiding lengthy hospital stays may want to invest in a personal emergency response system. This device enables patients to immediately contact physicians in the case of an emergency and allow them to arrive safely from a hospital and live at home. Another way to reduce costs of course is to take advantage of the numerous senior citizen discounts widely available.

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