There are no hard and fast guidelines about who will lose their Medicare Advantage Plans. Private fee for service providers are given the option whether or not they want to renew their contract with the federal government at the end of a predetermined period. If the insurance company chooses to pick up new coverage, the plan automatically gets renewed. If the company decides to stop offering the private fee for service coverage that Medicare Advantage Plans offer, the company must notify its recipients of the change by mail.
Medicare contracts usually expire at the end of the year. If a company decides not to renew a contract, the coverage lasts until December 31 of the year when the contract is up. The provider notifies patients of the change by mail in most cases. While the mail may sometimes get lost, not get opened or confused for junk mail, Medicare has a built-in feature that lets a person keep coverage even if he does not switch to one of the open Medicare Advantage plans. Other reasons such as non-payment can cause a company to drop insurance coverage.
A person who coverage from any of the Medicare Advantage plans will automatically get in enrolled in standard Medicare on January 1 at the beginning of the next calendar year. The feature is designed to make sure a person has basic health care coverage and does not suffer from a gap. If a person acts quickly, he can get new coverage from a Medigap policy or another private fee for service provider. The old company is required by law to provide this information to its former customers. Fortunately there is no indication of a mass exodus of companies that provide the service.