Medicare is currently in the process of sending new cards to all of their enrollees with new unique Medicare numbers. The new Medicare identifying numbers will no longer contain social security numbers, in an ongoing effort to prevent identity theft. You can learn more about this process at www.medicare.gov.
Pennsylvania Medicaid/Community Health Choices (CHC) Update
As of January 1, 2018, Pennsylvania is making some changes to the way their Medicaid benefits are administered. Your Medicaid benefits will not change. However, your Medicaid benefits will now be managed through Community Health Choices (CHC). Community Health Choices will require you to choose a health plan provider, more commonly referred to as a Managed Care Organization (MCO).
Starting in the month of August 2018, PA Medicaid recipients will begin to receive notices from the Department of Human Services notifying them that they will soon be required to choose a MCO. There will be three options to choose from: AmeriHealth Caritas, PA Health and Wellness, and UPMC Community HealthChoices. Beginning in October 2018, you should receive an information packet from Community Health Choices containing more detailed information on each health plan option and instructions on how to enroll in a plan. The packet you receive will provide instructions on enrolling online, via phone or via mail. If you do not enroll by the deadline, CHC will choose a MCO for you. However, if you are not satisfied with the MCO chosen for you, you can change your plan at any time.
If you are already residing in a nursing facility on Medicaid, you are guaranteed what is referred to as “continuity of care” for your lifetime through Community Health Choices. Medicaid is required to continue to cover your current services regardless of the MCO that you choose. However, if you are residing at home receiving Medicaid Waiver services, it is important that you pick the proper MCO for the area in which you reside, as well as the services that you need. The same is true if you move into a nursing facility after January 1, 2019. Please see the attached chart for guidance in choosing your new MCO, or visit www.healthchoices.pa.gov.