To the editor:
My husband and I moved to Edmonds in 1998 and chose Edmonds Family Medicine (EFM) as our provider. We both had excellent primary care from EFM physicians from 1998 until a year ago, when they would no longer accept our insurance for 2017.
I am a retired state employee, and we get our health insurance through the Public Employees Benefit Board (PEBB). We are lucky to be able to buy supplemental insurance as part of the state employees pool where our individual medical histories and pre-existing conditions are not a barrier. But EFM has a policy that “all patients who have traditional Medicare with or without a Supplement or other retirement health plan insurance must change to a Medicare Advantage plan.” Through PEBB, there was only one Medicare Advantage plan available to us, and it was not a satisfactory choice for our medical needs.
My husband had lengthy conversations about this with his physician and with the staff in several EFM business offices. In the end, there was no leeway. We were kicked out after 18 years as patients and had to find new providers and establish new relationships with new primary care physicians.
So you can imagine our—well, let’s say SURPRISE—when we received a letter and read “As a courtesy to our patients, EFM has occasionally allowed exceptions to this policy. Going forward we will continue to honor exceptions given in 2017. “ We can’t imagine why we didn’t receive this “courtesy.” Too bad we’re so old. Too bad I had a career working in our state’s community colleges. Too bad.
I suspect we are not alone, and I bet there are other Medicare recipients in our community with fewer options than we had.