Following an unfavorable review by federal health officials, troubled Oxford Health Plans last week said it has stopped marketing and new enrollment in most of its Oxford Medicare Advantage Plans.
Norwalk, Conn.-based Oxford covers 161,000 Medicare enrollees in Connecticut, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.
An Oxford spokeswoman said the "voluntary" suspension may be in effect for several months while the company takes corrective measures to comply with HCFA standards.
Oxford's June 10 8-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission indicated a number of corrective measures were "required" by HCFA following its February audit of the company's Medicare operations.
HCFA officials warned that if Oxford fails to successfully implement those measures, it could lose its Medicare risk contract for 1999.
Enrollees in group accounts are not affected by the freeze, and service to existing enrollees is not expected to suffer, according to the company.