Morro Bay resident George Garrigues received unexpected news when a letter arrived in the mail, informing him that he has until Aug. 1 to find a new Medicare insurance provider.
“It was a surprise,” the retired journalism professor said. “And August is not too far away.”
Garrigues, who is 90 years old, enrolled in the Golden State Medicare Health Plan when he moved to San Luis Obispo County after years using the Kaiser Permanente system.
The California Department of Managed Health Care, the state agency governing managed health care plans, ordered Golden State Medicare Health Plan to end all existing contracts with current clients on or before June 1, with Medicare coverage ending on August 1, according to a settlement agreement dated February 2022.
The key reason Golden State Medicare Health Plan lost its Medicare license was its failure to maintain good financial standing. The health plan was operating at a deficit of roughly $35 million as of December 2021, according to the settlement agreement.