Medicare HMO/PPO plans are getting a little harder to find, and payment reductions under Health Care Reform are being blamed.  While it isn’t a big drop (5.3% fewer plans), the trend is concerning.  Most of the dropped plans are in the South, Midwest and Northeast.

More concerning to me is the 13% drop in Special Needs plans.  These programs – typically specially designed to assist COPD, CHF, Nursing Home and Diabetic patients – are an important part of the landscape.  I had several special needs clients who lost care under the Care improvement Plus plans this year, as they closed down one of their plans.  United Health, nationwide, dropped 65 special needs plans.

Prescription plans are also seeing increases in Part D premiums and Copays, on average a 5.1% premium increase.