Medicare Woes

Many HMOs are dropping patients over 65. Here's how to make sure you stay well covered

More than 400,000 medicare beneficiaries received a "Dear John" letter last month, but it wasn't from their sweethearts. It was from their HMOs. Thanks to increasing medical costs and decreasing federal reimbursements, taking care of patients over 65 is not so profitable a business as it was in the early 1990s. So as of Dec. 31, more than 90 HMOs across the U.S.--including Aetna, Humana and Oxford--will stop serving Medicare customers in certain regions around the country.

What you do next, if you're caught in this scramble, can save you thousands of dollars. And even if you're not getting the...

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