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Patients scramble as Medicare drops doctors

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Updated: 11/25/2013 11:55 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- One of the most important relationships Susan Moson has is with her doctor. She's been seeing the same one for 20 years.

"Once you get close to a doctor and get used to a doctor, you want to go back to that doctor."

But thousands of Florida seniors like Moson could soon be forced to find a new one.

"When the president said you're going to keep your doctor he was talking about the affordable care act, not about Medicare," says Dr Daniel Kantor, Founder of the Southern MS Consortium.

To help fund the new healthcare law in 2014, $156 billion has been cut from Medicare Advantage, also known as Medicare Part C. Nearly 1.1 million Floridians are currently enrolled in the program.

Dr. Daniel Kantor said private insurance companies are telling some Florida doctors, they're no longer part of the program.

"Medicare doesn't usually allow out of network which means you're all on your own."

With Medicare enrollment ending on Dec. 7, nearly one-quarter of all seniors across the country are now scrambling to find answers.

"When open enrollment closes and you don't know which insurance plan you should be on and your doctors not on it, your stuck."

That leaves patients like Moson just 13 days to be sure they can still see their doctors.

"I'm following their lead and hoping their lead is correct and that nothing changes in the meanwhile."

Doctors have been given 30 days to appeal by companies like United Healthcare, the nation's largest provider of the Medicare Advantage program. To be sure your doctor is still covered by your chosen plan, Kantor said you should contact your insurance company directly for clarification.

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