Universal Medicare Advantage plans are no longer marketed in ANY service area. The Georgia Dept. of Insurance issued a cease and desist order against Universal Medicare Advantage plans in November, 2011, so this was not unexpected.
Financially struggling Universal Health Care, once among the fastest-growing companies in St. Petersburg, warned agents that it has stopped marketing its Medicare services in all areas effective immediately.
The notice, which did not include a reason, could threaten the survival of the managed care company. Universal has already been losing members after being billed as a “consistent poor performer” by the federal government, which suggested in a letter to Medicare recipients in the fall that they consider shopping around for other options.
Universal Medicare Advantage plans have been popular in Georgia and other states due to the low premiums . . . perhaps a bit too low.
Scrutiny over Universal’s finances has been building. Regulators in two states (including GA) have already cracked down. And in December, the company laid off at least 100 employees at its downtown St. Petersburg offices in part because of disappointing sales during the fall open enrollment period for Medicare.
Rumors were spreading which possibly impacted new sales.
Georgia Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens, who signed the consent order in November, cited the company’s net loss of more than $27 million in 2011 and its loss of $22.1 million in the first six months of 2012 as the trigger. Potentially, Universal faced $45 million in annual losses if one extrapolates the first half results, he said at the time.
On Dec. 18, the Ohio Department of Insurance followed suit. The company was found in violation of state laws in reporting a net loss greater than 20 percent of its $41 million surplus for the 12 months ended Sept. 30.
Georgia seniors with Medigap plans don’t have to worry. Any doctor that accepts Medicare assignment will also accept your Medicare supplement plan, regardless of the carrier.
There are many safeguards built in to Medicare products. If your Medicare Advantage carrier terminates coverage due to financial reasons you have a guaranteed right to purchase a Medigap policy without subjecting to medical underwriting.
Georgia Medicare Plans has the lowest Medigap rates in the state. Get a Medigap quote today.
Leave a Reply