WPS Health Plan Withdraws Medicare Drug Plan to Focus on ‘Medigap’ Coverage

David Wahlberg

Monona-based WPS Health Insurance will end Medicare Part D drug coverage next year, and about 11,000 Wisconsin members will have to find other plans.

WPS will eliminate the prescription drug plans it has offered since the government added drug coverage as a Medicare option in 2006, allowing it to focus on its Medicare supplement insurance plans, spokeswoman DeAnne Boegli said. I’m here.

“WPS is focused on maintaining its position as Wisconsin’s leading Medicare supplement provider,” Boegli said in a statement. “We aim to maintain that lead and bring this coverage to even more states with the goal of becoming the leading national Medicare supplement provider in the next few years.”

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Medicare Supplement plans, often called Medigap, fill the gaps in traditional Medicare insurance coverage. Boegli said WPS has about 70,000 Medicare Supplement members in Wisconsin. About 7,000 of them, and her other 4,000 Medicare Part D Plans, are ending, she said.

Nine companies outside Wisconsin, including Aetna, Anthem, Cigna, Humana and United Healthcare, will offer 23 Medicare Part D plans covering pharmaceuticals in Wisconsin next year.

Users of the WPS Part D plan that terminates may choose one of the other plans. You can also switch to Medicare Advantage. This is often a private plan that includes drug coverage.

Fred Ward, 80, of Shorewood Hills is a longtime member of the WPS Medicare Supplement and Medicare Part D. He’s been on expensive chemotherapy drugs for multiple myeloma, and he was upset to learn on Thursday that his drug coverage had ended.

“It was a big shock,” said Ward, a retired attorney, noting that it was “a hassle” to find other articles.

His wife, Attorney Marilyn Townsend, has state benefits through her work on the state Labor and Industry Review Board and previously had WPS health insurance.

“We trusted local companies more,” says Townsend. “I always felt that there was a little more local accountability.”

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