When You Change Where You Live
Moving or changing your current living situation usually triggers a Special Enrollment Period for many Medicare enrollees. If your new address isnt in your plans service area or your new address is within your plans service area but offers different options, then youll have the opportunity to change plans.
If you tell your health care plan provider that youre moving, your enrollment period begins the month before the month of your move, plus two months. However, if you tell your health care plan provider after youve moved, then your period begins that month and runs for two additional months.
Also Check: How To Determine Medicare Eligibility
If I Have Medicare How Can I Enroll In Medicare Advantage
There are several time frames during which you can enroll in or switch to Medicare Advantage:
- During your Initial Enrollment Period: If you are newly eligible for Medicare because of your age or disability status, you can enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan.
- During the Open Enrollment Period: During Medicare Open Enrollment, which extends from October 15 to December 7 each year, you can change Medicare plans, including switching to Medicare Advantage. You can also change or add a Part D prescription drug plan.
- During the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period: From January 1 to March 31, if you already have a Medicare Advantage plan, you can switch to a different Advantage plan or return to Original Medicare.
Each Medicare Advantage plan offers different benefits, so itâs important to review the plans available in your area.
Consider your medical needs, which services you have used most frequently over the past several years, and whether those needs might change. Then weigh the benefits of various types of Medicare Advantage plans.
A Special Needs Plan might be a great option if you have a chronic illness and the right plan is available in your region, while HMO plans can be an affordable option if you like the doctors included in the planâs network.
The official U.S. government website for Medicare can help you compare different plans and apply for the Medicare Advantage coverage thatâs right for you.
Notes On Part D Changes
- If youre enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan that includes prescription drug coverage, you can simply enroll in a stand-alone Part D Prescription Drug Plan, which will automatically disenroll you from your Medicare Advantage plan .
- If your Medicare Advantage plan does not include prescription drug coverage and youre planning to switch to Original Medicare plus a Part D plan, youll need to actively disenroll from the Medicare Advantage plan and then enroll in a Part D Prescription Drug Plan. Its recommended that you complete both actions within the same month if you disenroll from a Medicare Advantage plan in January but dont enroll in a Part D prescription plan until February, your Original Medicare coverage would take effect in February, but your drug coverage wouldnt kick in until March.
- Youll also have the option to apply for a Medigap plan when you switch to Original Medicare, albeit with medical underwriting in most cases .
Read Also: Is There A Charge For Medicare Part B
Can I Switch Policies
In most cases, you wont have a right under federal law to switch Medigap policies, unless one of these applies:
- Youre eligible under a specific circumstance or guaranteed issue rights
- Youre within your 6-month Medigap open enrollment period
You dont have to wait a certain length of time after buying your first Medigap policy before you can switch to a different Medigap policy.
The Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period
The Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period occurs every year from January 1 through March 31. It is limited to current Medicare Advantage enrollees.
During OEP, your options are:
- Switching to a different Advantage plan
- Returning to Original Medicare
If making that change means that you lose your prescription drug coverage, you may also join a standalone Medicare Part D plan.
Read Also: Which Part Of Medicare Covers Doctor Visits
So What Should You Do
Because of the variety of options and potential costs you might incur, it is a good idea to regularly review your coverage. This is especially true if you have had your plan for several years.
After a thorough review, you may discover you are exactly where you need to be.
Our agents have years of experience with the wide varieties of plans in the marketplace throughout the United States. We can review your coverages and present multiple options that meet your health and financial needs.
We may find you should stay right where you are and we will tell you that as well.
Whatever you do, dont let the amount of information out there overwhelm you. You could be putting your retirement savings as well as your health at risk.
Prefer to chat by phone? Give us a call at
How To Go Back To Part A And Part B And/or Add Part D
Whether you disenroll from your Advantage plan, also called Part C, during the Annual Enrollment Period or Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period , there are a couple of ways you can return:
- and ask the phone representative to disenroll you from your Part C plan. Once you disenroll, you will automatically join Part A and Part B.
- and ask for them to disenroll you. If you choose to leave your plan this way, it may take longer for your disenrollment to be processed.
Its important to remember that Part A and Part B doesnt cover prescription drugs. You may want to consider joining a stand-alone Part D plan when you leave your Advantage plan. If you dont have creditable drug coverage for 63 days in a row, Medicare can penalize you.
Since Part D is provided by private insurance companies, you will need to join a plan from one of these companies. You may be able to do this by doing any of the following:
- Joining online on the plans website.
- Requesting a paper enrollment form from the plan, filling it out and returning it.
Read Also: Can I Change My Medicare Advantage Plan Now
Browse Plans Online > >
In the Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period, you will have until Feb. 14 to pick up a Part D plan for prescription drug coverage. During this time, you cannot switch between Medicare Advantage plans or move from Original Medicare to Medicare Advantage. Your coverage will start on the 1st day of the month after the month in which you switch coverage.
You can leave your Medicare Advantage plan and return to traditional Medicare Part A and Part B at any time. Just give your managed care plan 30 days written notice, and they will notify Medicare.
Is There A Deadline For Changing Medicare Supplement Plans
No. After your six-month open enrollment period expires, youre free to change plans at will. In most cases, though, theres no reason to switch plans or carriers until youre notified of a rate increase and want to shop for a lower rate. Just realize that all carriers must increase their rates sooner or later to keep up with inflation and healthcare costs.
Also Check: Why Am I Paying For Medicare
If You Can Enroll In Coverage From Your Union Employer Or A Program Of All
Youre free to leave Medicare Advantage and enroll in certain types of private plans. If your employer or union offers a plan that you find more appealing than Medicare Advantage, you can disenroll without penalty.
- You can switch from Medicare Advantage to other coverage whenever the rules of your union, employer, or PACE plan allow for it.
If Youre Admitted To Institutional Care
If youre admitted to any type of long-term care setting, you can switch your plan up to once per month during your stay, if you wanted to leave Medicare Advantage for Original Medicare. Facilities that qualify as institutional care include: 1.) long-term hospitals, 2.) skilled nursing facilities , 3.) rehabilitation hospitals and units, 4.) psychiatric hospitals and units, 5.) care facilities for the intellectually disabled, and 6.) and swing bed hospitals.
- You can move from Medicare Advantage to Original Medicare for up to two months after youre discharged.
You May Like: What Are Medicare Part Abcd
If You Change From Medicare Advantage To Original Medicare Plus A Medigap Plan When You Have Guaranteed Issue Rights Your Application Won’t Go Through Medical Underwriting
If youre enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan but changed your mind and would rather have a Medicare Supplement insurance plan with Original Medicare, thats ok. Youre able to switch from Medicare Advantage to Medigap during certain times of the year or with specific qualifying circumstances.
Medicare Advantage and Medigap plans offer different types of coverage and costs, and you may find it comforting to know you can switch between the two if you need to. Heres information about when you can switch coverage and how to do it.
How Much Should I Expect To Pay For A Medicare Advantage Plan
The average premium for a Medicare Advantage plan in 2021 was $21.22 per month. For 2022 it will be $19 per month. Although this is the average, some premiums cost $0, and others cost well over $100. For more resources to help guide you through the complex world of medical insurance, visit our Medicare hub.
Read Also: When Do You Stop Paying Medicare And Social Security Taxes
Health Care Costs For Seniors
Considering options to supplement traditional Medicare is a wise move. Health care costs continue to rise and household spending for people with Medicare can be more than you expect.
The Kaiser Family Foundation studied the costs between Medicare households and non-Medicare households and the differences are surprising:
This study makes it clear that costs are high and finding ways to supplement those costs even within Medicare is important to most seniors
Is Your Healthcare Plan Still Meeting Your Healthcare Needs
Are changes to your current Medicare plan costing you a little bit more this year? Are you taking any new drugs that may cost less on another plan? Is your doctor still in your plans network? Plans can change from year to year. Maybe its time to consider your options. Our can help you compare our plans costs and coverage with your current plans to help you make sure youre getting the most from your healthcare dollar.
Don’t Miss: Who Is Entitled To Medicare Benefits
With The Exception Of Qualifying For A Sep There Are Only Two Times Per Year You Can Change From A Medicare Advantage Plan Back To Original Medicare
The first is during the Annual Enrollment Period .
The AEP is from October 15th through December 7th. Any changes to your health coverage during this time will take effect on January 1st of the following year.
The second is during the annual Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period .
The MAPD is from January 1st until February 14th. Any changes to your health coverage during this time will take effect the first day of the month following the date your dis-enrollment request is received.
Switching From A Medicare Advantage Plan
You cannot purchase a Medicare supplement plan if you are enrolled in Medicare Advantage. If you are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan you may have a right under Maine law to enroll in a Medicare supplement plan if you switch back to original Medicare, but only under certain limited circumstances.
- You may be entitled to guaranteed issue of a Medicare Supplement policy if your Medicare Advantage plan is involuntarily terminated .
- If you enroll in Medicare Advantage during your six-month open enrollment period, beginning when you first enroll in Medicare Part B, and then switch to Original Medicare Part A and Part B within 36 months:
- You have the right to buy any Medicare supplement plan as long as you buy it within 90 days after your Medicare Advantage coverage ends. Otherwise, it is generally up to the insurer whether or not to issue a policy, which means you may need to qualify based on health status. This arrangement is intended to provide you with a one time trial period to determine if a Medicare Advantage plan meets your needs. NOTE: If you enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan mid-year, you will need to switch back to original Medicare sooner than 36 months years because federal law only allows you to go back to original Medicare at certain times. Also, Maine law extends the Medicare Advantage “trial period” from 12 months to 36 months, so you may not have the same rights if you move to another state.
Also Check: Does Medicare Cover Handicap Ramps
How To Choose Between Original Medicare And Medicare Advantage
There are pros and cons to both Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage. The right choice depends on your unique situation. Consider the following:
- Costs: May include an annual deductible, monthly premium, and copays or coinsurance. Don’t forget to factor in the cost of a Part D plan if you’re leaving an MA-PD plan for Original Medicare, as well as out-of-pocket expenses for any other items that were included with your Medicare Advantage plan. If you plan to join a Medigap plan, factor in those costs and savings as well.
- Coverage: If you’re used to getting certain services with your Advantage plan, such as routine eye exams and prescription lenses, don’t forget to factor in your out-of-pocket costs for any services not included with Original Medicare.
- Network: Most people who have Medicare Advantage belong to either an HMO or PPO, which means they have a provider network. Original Medicare is accepted by 93 percent of primary care doctors. Advantage plan members, though, usually have to work within a provider network. And if you travel a lot, it’s unlikely your plan will pay for anything other than emergency care.
Comparing your Medicare plan options is easy with our Find a Plan tool. Just enter your location and coverage start date to review Medicare Advantage, Part D, and Medigap plans in your area.
Can You Switch Medicare Advantage Plans Anytime
You cannot switch Medicare Advantage plans at any time. There are only three enrollment periods when you can switch a Medicare Advantage Plan. Your first opportunity is after you first enroll in a MA Plan during your Initial Enrollment Period.
Your Initial Enrollment Period generally lasts for 7 months from 3 months before the month you turn 65 to 3 months after the month you turn 65, unless you qualify for Medicare based on disability. In this case, your Initial Enrollment Period starts 3 months before your 25th month of receiving disability benefits and ends 3 months after your 25th month of disability benefits.
During these 7 months, you can make any changes you need to your plan elections, says Matt Dworetsky, founder of Dworetsky Financial in Manalapan, New Jersey. If you enroll during your Initial Enrollment Period, you can also make changes anytime in the first 3 months of your Medicare coverage.
After that, you can switch plans during open enrollment in the Fall or during Medicare Advantage open enrollment, which is at the beginning of each year, Dworetsky says.
Medicare Open Enrollment occurs from October 15 to December 7 each year. If you have Medicare Part A already and get Part B for the first time during Open Enrollment, you can join a Medicare Advantage Plan, says Cynthia Pruemm, investment advisor, founder and CEO of SIS Financial Group in Hoffman Estates, Illinois. This is referred to as the General Enrollment Period.
Read Also: What Is A Medicare Point Of Service Plan
When Can You Change Medicare Supplement Plan
You can change your Medicare Supplement, or Medigap, plan anytime you choose. When you first enroll, youll have a six-month timeframe to select any supplement plans with Guaranteed Issue rights.
After this open window, youll have to apply through the carriers application process. However, some states, such as California, Oregon, Missouri and Washington, enable you to change supplement plans without fulfilling these requirements.
Coverage Choices For Medicare
If you’re older than 65 and not already getting benefits from Social Security, you have to sign up for Medicare Part A and Part B. It doesn’t happen automatically. However, if you already get Social Security benefits, you’ll get Medicare Part A and Part B automatically when you first become eligible .
There are two main ways to get Medicare coverage:
Read Also: How Do I Choose Medicare Part D Plan
What To Know About The Annual Enrollment Period
Because your only opportunity to change from Medicare Advantage back to Original Medicare takes place during the AEP, you should know a bit more about it to better inform your switch. Prior to the AEP, you will receive an Annual Notice of Change and/or Evidence of Coverage .
For the Advantage plan you are considering leaving, you will want to review it and submit a request to cancel it with this notice. Be sure to complete as many steps in this process before the AEP as possible, that way you can be fully prepared for it once it begins. However, if you can/do not begin prior to the AEP, you will still have time to do so during it, as long as you are proactive.
Think Carefully When Choosing Your Medicare Coverage
Think carefully about your options and which coverage is right for your health and lifestyle. Your next opportunity to change your Medicare coverage wont be until the next years Annual Enrollment Period, unless you experience a qualifying life event and become eligible for a Special Enrollment Period.
You May Like: How To Get A Lift Chair From Medicare