MINNEAPOLIS (AP) _ An estimated 320,000 seniors across Minnesota will need to change Medicare health plans in the coming months.

Reports say that residents with Medicare Cost health plans have to switch because of a federal law eliminating the policy next year in most of the state.

The 2003 law says Medicare Cost plans can't be offered in areas with significant competition from Medicare Advantage plans. Congress delayed the law's implementation until 2019.

Medicare Cost plans will be eliminated in almost 70 Minnesota counties, including Hennepin and Ramsey counties. The plans will still be available in about 20 counties, such as St. Louis County.

Insurers, government agencies and consumer advocates have begun informing residents about the transition, though details of the 2019 coverage options won't be available until next month.

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