Other BayCarePlus® Plan Information

Initial Organizational Determinations, Appeals and Grievances

Find information (Updated 10/01/2022) concerning initial organizational determinations, exceptions, appeals and grievances.

Also note that the BayCarePlus (HMO) plan’s Evidence of Coverage book describes our grievance, coverage determination (including exceptions) and appeals processes.


At any time during the grievance or appeal process, you may authorize a representative to assist you in the process. We must receive an authorization, in writing, from you to designate a representative. You can contact our Customer Service Department for additional information about designating a representative. View the form to appoint a representative (Updated 10/01/2022) to act on your behalf.

You may also print, complete and mail the form to the address located on the Contact Us page.

You may file a grievance or complaint online using the Medicare.gov Medicare Complaint Form.


The Medicare prescription drug coverage determination form should be mailed to the address located at the end of the form.

To obtain information about the aggregate number of grievances, appeals and exceptions filed with BayCarePlus or for process or status questions, contact us.

Member Notification of Medicare National Coverage Determination (NCD)

From time to time, the federal agency that runs Medicare announces new information about coverage under the program. The Medicare program requires to notify its members of this information on our website and in our member newsletter.

Member Notification of Medicare National Coverage Determination

Leaving or Switching Plans

“Disenrollment” from BayCarePlus means ending your membership in our plan. Disenrollment can be voluntary or involuntary:

  • You might leave BayCarePlus because you’ve decided that you want to leave. You can do this for any reason; however, there are limits to when you may leave, how often you can make changes, what your other choices are for receiving Medicare services and how you can make changes.
  • There are also a few situations where you would be required to leave our plan. For example, you’d have to leave if you permanently move out of our geographic service area or if BayCarePlus leaves the Medicare program. We won’t ask you to leave our plan because of your health.

Until your membership ends, you must keep getting your Medicare services through BayCarePlus, or you’ll have to pay for them yourself.

If you leave our plan, it may take some time for your membership to end and your new way of getting Medicare to take effect. While you’re waiting for your membership to end, you’re still a member and must continue to get your care as usual through our health plan.

If you get services from doctors or other medical providers who aren’t plan providers before your membership in our plan ends, neither BayCarePlus nor the Medicare program will pay for these services, with just a few exceptions. The exceptions are: urgently needed care, care for a medical emergency, out-of-area renal dialysis services and care that’s been approved by us. Another possible exception is if you happen to be hospitalized on the day your membership ends. If this happens, call us to find out if your hospital care will be covered. If you have any questions about leaving BayCarePlus, please call us.

If you want to leave our health plan:

  • The first step is to be sure that the type of change you want to make (and when you want to make it) fits within the rules explained below about changing how you get Medicare. If the change doesn’t fit with these rules, you won’t be allowed to make the change.
  • Then, what you must do to leave BayCarePlus depends on whether you want switch from BayCarePlus to Original Medicare or to one of your other choices.

In general, there are only certain times during the year when you can change the way you get Medicare. Your plan’s Evidence of Coverage outlines these rules. contact us for information.

Potential for Contract Termination

If we leave the Medicare program or change our service area so that it no longer includes the area where you live, we’ll tell you in writing. If this happens, your membership in BayCarePlus will end, and you’ll have to change to another way of getting your Medicare benefits. All the benefits and rules described in the Evidence of Coverage will continue until your membership ends. This means that you must continue to get your medical care and prescription drugs in the usual way through our plan until your membership ends.

Your choices for how to get your Medicare coverage will always include Original Medicare and joining a prescription drug plan to complement your Original Medicare coverage. Your choices may also include joining another BayCarePlus plan, another Medicare Advantage plan or a private fee-for-service plan, if these plans are available in your area and are accepting new members. Once we have told you in writing that we’re leaving the Medicare program or the area where you live, you’ll have a chance to change to another way of getting your Medicare benefits. If you decide to change from BayCarePlus to Original Medicare, you’ll have the right to buy a Medigap policy regardless of your health. This is called a “guaranteed issue right.”

BayCarePlus has a contract with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the government agency that runs Medicare. This contract renews each year. At the end of each year, the contract is reviewed, and either BayCarePlus or CMS can decide to end it. You’ll get 90 days advance notice in this situation. It’s also possible for our contract to end at some other time during the year. In these situations we’ll try to tell you 90 days in advance, but your advance notice may be as little as 30 or fewer days if CMS must end our contract in the middle of the year.

Whenever a Medicare health plan leaves the Medicare program or stops serving your area, you’ll be provided a special enrollment period to make choices about how you get Medicare coverage, including choosing a Medicare prescription drug plan and guaranteed issue rights to a Medigap policy.

Generally, we can’t ask you to leave the plan because of your health. If you ever feel that you’re being encouraged or asked to leave our plan because of your health, you should call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227), which is the national Medicare help line. TTY users should call (877) 486-2048. You can call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

We can ask you to leave the plan under certain special conditions. If any of the following situations occur, we’ll end your BayCarePlus membership:

  • If you aren’t a United States citizen or lawfully present in the United States
  • If you move out of the service area or are away from the service area for more than six months in a row. If you plan to move or take a long trip, please call us to find out if the place you’re moving to or traveling to is in our service area. If you move permanently out of our geographic service area, of if you’re away from our service area for more than six months in a row, you generally can’t remain a member of BayCarePlus In these situations, if you don’t leave on your own, we must end your membership (“disenroll” you)
  • If you don’t stay continuously enrolled in both Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B
  • If you are required to pay the extra Part D amount because of your income and you do not pay it, Medicare will disenroll you from our plan and you will lose prescription drug coverage
  • If you give us information on your enrollment request that you know is false or deliberately misleading, and it affects whether or not you can enroll in our plan
  • If you lie about or withhold information about other insurance you have that provides prescription drug coverage
  • If you behave in any way that is disruptive, to the extent that your continued enrollment seriously impairs our ability to arrange or provide medical care for you or for others who are members of a BayCarePlus plan. We can’t make you leave our plan for this reason unless we get permission first from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the government agency that runs Medicare
  • If you let someone else use your plan membership card to get medical care. If you’re disenrolled for this reason, CMS may refer your case to the Inspector General for additional investigation
  • If you become incarcerated (go to prison)

You have the right to make a complaint if we ask you to leave our plan. If we ask you to leave, we’ll tell you our reason(s) in writing and explain how you can file a complaint against us if you so choose.

Rights and Protections

As a Medicare beneficiary, you have certain rights to help protect you. You can read more about your rights and responsibilities as a member of BayCarePlus in the Evidence of Coverage. You can also contact Medicare by calling 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). TTY users should call (877) 486-2048. You can call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can also visit the Medicare website at Medicare.gov. Following is a summary of our members’ rights and protections.

All Medicare Advantage plans agree to stay in the program for a full year at a time. Each year, the plans decide whether to continue for another year. Even if a Medicare Advantage plan leaves the program, you won’t lose Medicare coverage. If a plan decides not to continue in the program, it must send you a letter at least 90 days before your coverage will end. The letter will explain your options for Medicare coverage in your area.

As a BayCarePlus member, you have the right to request an initial organizational determination for medical services or a coverage determination for prescription drugs, which includes the right to request an exception. You may ask us for an exception if you believe you need a drug that isn’t on our list of covered drugs or believe you should get a non-preferred drug at a lower out-of-pocket cost. You can also ask for an exception to cost utilization rules, such as a limit on the quantity of a drug. If you think you need an exception, you should contact us before you try to fill your prescription at the pharmacy. Your doctor must provide a statement to support your exception request. If we deny coverage for your prescription drug(s) or medical service, you have the right to appeal and ask us to review our decision. Finally, you have the right to file a grievance if you have any type of problem with us or one of our network providers that doesn’t involve the coverage of services.

Using Out-of-Network Providers

With few exceptions, you must pay for services you receive from providers who aren’t part of the BayCarePlus network unless BayCarePlus has approved these services in advance. The exceptions are care for a medical emergency, urgently needed care, out-of-area renal (kidney) dialysis services, and services that are found upon appeal to be services that we should have paid or covered.

Quality Assurance and Utilization Management

Utilization Management

For certain prescription drugs, we have additional requirements for coverage or limits on our coverage. These requirements and limits ensure that our members use these drugs in the most effective way and also help us control drug plan costs. A team of doctors and pharmacists developed the following requirements and limits for our plans to help us provide quality coverage to our members:

  • Prior Authorization: We require you to get prior authorization for certain drugs. This means that your doctor will need to get approval from us before you fill your prescription. If your doctor doesn’t get approval, we may not cover the drug. View our prior authorization criteria (Updated 10/13/22).
  • Step Therapy: In some cases, we require you to first try certain drugs to treat your medical condition before we’ll cover another drug for that condition. For example, if Drug A and Drug B both treat your medical condition, we may not cover Drug B unless you try Drug A first. If Drug A doesn’t work for you, we’ll then cover Drug B. View our step therapy criteria (Updated 10/01/2022).
  • Quantity Limits: For certain drugs, we limit the amount of the drug that we will cover per prescription or for a defined period of time.
  • Generic Substitution: When there is a generic version of a brand-name drug available, our network pharmacies will automatically give you the generic version, unless your doctor has told us that you must take the brand-name drug.

You can find out if the drug you take is subject to these additional requirements or limits by looking in the Drug Formulary. If your drug is subject to one of these additional restrictions or limits, and your physician determines that you aren’t able to meet the additional restriction or limit for medical necessity reasons, you or your physician can request an exception (which is a type of coverage determination).

Drug Utilization Review

We conduct drug utilization reviews for all our members to make sure that they’re receiving safe and appropriate care. These reviews are especially important for members who have more than one doctor who prescribe their medications. We conduct drug utilization reviews each time you fill a prescription and on a regular basis by reviewing our records. During these reviews, we look for medication problems such as:

  • Possible medication errors
  • Duplicate drugs that are unnecessary because you’re taking another drug to treat the same medical condition
  • Drugs that aren’t safe or appropriate because of your age or gender
  • Possible harmful interactions between drugs you’re taking at the same time
  • Drug allergies
  • Drug dosage errors

If we identify a medication problem during our drug utilization review, we’ll work with your doctor to correct the problem.

Drug Transition Supply Policy

You may be able to get a temporary supply under certain circumstances. The plan can offer a temporary supply of a drug to you when your drug isn’t on the drug list or when it is restricted in some way. Doing this gives you time to talk with your provider about the change in coverage and figure out what to do.

To be eligible for a temporary supply, you must meet the two requirements below:

  1. The change to your drug coverage must be one of the following types of changes:
    • The drug you have been taking is no longer on the plan’s drug list.
    • Or—the drug you have been taking is now restricted in some way (Chapter 5, Section 4 of the EOC talks about restrictions).
  2. You must be in one of the situations described below:
    • For those members who are new or who were in the plan last year and aren’t in a long-term care (LTC) facility:
      • We’ll cover a temporary supply of your drug during the first 90 days of your membership in the plan if you were new, and during the first 90 days of the calendar year if you were in the plan last year. This temporary supply will be a maximum 30-day supply. If your prescription is written for fewer days, we’ll allow multiple fills to provide up to a maximum of a 30-day supply of medication. The prescription must be filled at a network pharmacy.
    • For those members who are new or who were in the plan last year and reside in a long-term care (LTC) facility:
      • We’ll cover a temporary supply of your drug during the first 90 days of your membership in the plan if you’re new, and during the first 90 days of the calendar year if you were in the plan last year. The total supply will be a maximum 31-day supply. If your prescription is written for fewer days, we’ll allow multiple fills to provide up to a maximum of a 31-day supply of medication. (Please note that the long-term care pharmacy may provide the drug in smaller amounts at a time to prevent waste.)
    • For those members who have been in the plan for more than 90 days, and reside in a long-term care (LTC) facility and need a supply right away:
      • We’ll cover one 31-day supply of a particular drug, or less if your prescription is written for fewer days. This is in addition to the above long-term care transition supply.
    • Members who have a change in level of care (setting) will be allowed up to a one-time 31-day transition supply per drug.

View our Transition Policy (Updated 10/01/2022).

Medication Therapy Management Program

View information about our Medication Therapy Management Program.


Low Income Subsidy (LIS) Information

To learn more about what information is needed to have your records immediately updated to reflect that you qualify for “extra help” (low income subsidy).

Learn more about getting extra help to pay for your prescription drugs and costs.

Part D sponsors must provide access to Part D drugs at the correct LIS cost-sharing level when presented with evidence of LIS eligibility. Learn more about CMS’ “Best Available Evidence” (BAE) policy. .

Please consult the Summary of Benefits and the Evidence of Coverage for other important enrollment and membership information. Medicare beneficiaries may also enroll in BayCarePlus through the CMS Medicare Online Enrollment Center located at Medicare.gov.

Learn more about the safe use of opioid pain medications (Updated: 10/01/2022).

Accessing Benefits During a Disaster or Emergency

What happens during a disaster or emergency?

When an emergency or disaster disrupts access to health care in your service area, know that BayCarePlus makes necessary changes to ensure you have access to your health plan benefits. Until the disaster or emergency ends, we do the following:

  • Cover your BayCarePlus plan benefits (including benefits covered by Original Medicare—Parts A and B) when care is received at non-contracted facilities. Note that Part A and B services must be received at Medicare-certified facilities
  • Waive referral requirements, where applicable
  • Provide the same cost-sharing at non-contracted facilities as if the service or benefit were received at a plan-contracted facility
  • Make changes that benefit you effective immediately without a 30-day notification requirement

Who declares a disaster or emergency?

A disaster declaration will identify the geographic area affected and may be made as one of the following:

  • Presidential declaration of a disaster or emergency under either of the following:
    • Stafford Act
    • National Emergencies Act
  • Secretarial declaration of a public health emergency under section 319 of the Public Health Service Act
  • Declaration by the Governor of a State or Protectorate

When does the disaster or emergency end?

For the changes made above, which ensure your access to your health plan benefits, the emergency or disaster ends 30 days after the occurrence of one of the following conditions, whichever is earlier:

  • When all sources that declared a disaster or emergency for the health plan’s service area declare an end to the disaster or emergency
  • If no end date was identified in the disaster or emergency declaration(s), when all applicable emergencies or disasters declared for the health plan’s service area have ended, including through expiration of the declaration or any renewal of such declaration
  • When there’s no longer a disruption of access to health care

If we can’t resume normal operations by the end of the disaster or emergency, we’ll notify the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

Special Requirements

In addition, we must explain the terms and conditions of payment during the emergency or disaster for non-contracted providers providing benefits to plan enrollees who live in the impacted area.

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