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More Time To Plan Medicare+Choice Benefits Allotted

The Health Care Financing Administration has given Medicare+Choice plans an extra two months to decide benefit packages and pricing for 2000, extending the deadline from May 1 to July 1.

Last year, plans complained that the May 1 deadline didn't give them time to determine current-year trends — forcing many to abandon Medicare.

Meanwhile, the U.S. General Accounting Office scolded Medicare HMOs for providing inaccurate benefit information to enrollees. A GAO report said member materials for nearly half of the health plans that were audited incorrectly described benefits and referral policies.

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