WASHINGTON--Health plans may now apply for certification as Medicare+Choice plans. The Department of Health and Human Services recently released regulations that outline the standards that health plans and organizations must meet to become part of the new program.
Medicare+Choice take effect in January 1999. Its aim is to provide beneficiaries an even wider choice of health care providers than now available through fee-for-service Medicare and HMOs. The plan opens Medicare to preferred provider organizations, preferred sponsor organizations, private fee-for-service plans, and a medical savings account demonstration project.