Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period January 1 Through March 31
During this time, you can:
- Switch from a Medicare Advantage plan without drug coverage to a Medicare Advantage plan with drug coverage
- Switch from a Medicare Advantage plan with drug coverage to a Medicare Advantage plan without drug coverage
- Switch from your Medicare Advantage plan and return to Original Medicare, with the option to join a stand-alone Medicare prescription drug plan
If you enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan when you first became eligible for Medicare , you can change to another Medicare Advantage plan or go back to Original Medicare within the first 3 months after you enrolled.
Medicare Special Enrollment Period
Depending on your circumstances, you may also qualify for a Special Enrollment Period .
Medicare Special Enrollment Periods can happen at any time during the year. You may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period for a number of reasons, which can include:
- You moved to a new area that is outside of your current Medicare Advantage plans service area
- You left your employer coverage
- Medicare ended your current Medicare Advantage plans contract
A licensed insurance agent can help you find out if you qualify for a Medicare Special Enrollment Period.
Get Our Help With Changing Medicare Supplement Plans
So just remember, the Annual Election Period in the fall is for Part D drug plan changes and Medicare Advantage plan changes only. Certainly, you could leave a Medicare Advantage plan during this time and apply for a Medicare supplement instead. But in most cases, the insurance company will perform medical underwriting to see if you qualify. It is not guaranteed that you will be approved for the supplement coverage.
Curious to know whether you can change Medicare supplement plans and lower your premiums? Give us a call and we can help you answer that question.
Recommended Reading: Does Aspen Dental Accept Medicare
Dont Stick With Coverage That Isnt Working For You
The wrong Medicare Advantage plan could put a huge strain on your retirement budget and cause you to neglect your health and thats not what you want. If youre unhappy with your current plan, take advantage of the option to switch.
The $16,728 Social Security bonus most retirees completely overlookIf youre like most Americans, youre a few years behind on your retirement savings. But a handful of little-known Social Security secrets could help ensure a boost in your retirement income. For example: one easy trick could pay you as much as $16,728 more each year! Once you learn how to maximize your Social Security benefits, we think you could retire confidently with the peace of mind were all after. Simply click here to discover how to learn more about these strategies.
The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
Your Preferred Providers Are No Longer In
One downside to Medicare Advantage is that unlike Original Medicare, it limits you to a specific network of providers. If you have a trusted doctor or facility thats no longer considered in-network, it pays to find out if theres an affordable alternative that allows you to continue seeing the providers who know your medical history and make you the most comfortable.
Medicare Initial Enrollment Period
The Initial Enrollment Period only happens once. It starts at the beginning of the month three months before your birthday and lasts for seven months . So if your birthday is in June, your IEP starts April 1st and ends September 30th during the year when you turn 65.
During this enrollment period, you may be automatically enrolled if you currently receive SSI benefits. If you think you are eligible for automatic enrollment but do not receive your Medicare card and information packet in the mail within the first few months, call your local CMS office.
The Real Disadvantage Of Medicare Advantage Plans
In Understanding Medicare in 4 Easy Steps, we outline how to determine if Medicare Advantage or Original Medicare and a Medigap plan is the best option for you. To paraphrase, we suggest that theres a single fundamental difference that helps most people make the right choice. In fact, the bulk of the pros and cons of Medicare Advantage plans take a back seat to this one issue.
The difference is this. With Original Medicare and supplemental Medicare insurance, you pay the bulk of your major medical costs upfront through monthly insurance premiums. Doing so lets you budget your health care costs.
When you have Medicare Advantage, you pay most of your health care costs when you use services. For this reason, it is very difficult to budget your health care costs. And this is the primary disadvantage of Medicare Advantage plans. If you fit into one of the five categories above, this wont be much of a disadvantage. If not, it could put you in a world of hurt.
Also Check: Does Humana Offer A Medicare Supplement Plan
Fall Medicare Open Enrollment For Medicare Advantage Plans
Interested in signing up for a Medicare Advantage plan? There are certain times when you can enroll, and one of them is during Fall Medicare Open Enrollment .
You must be already enrolled in Part A and Part B, and live within the service area of the plan youre enrolling in to participate in the Fall Medicare Open Enrollment.
Besides enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan, you can make other changes throughout the Fall Medicare Open Enrollment period, such as:
- Switch from a Medicare Advantage plan back to Original Medicare .
- Switch from one Medicare Advantage plan to another.
- Switch from a Medicare Advantage plan that doesnt offer prescription drug coverage to a Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plan.
- Switch from a Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plan to a Medicare Advantage plan that doesnt include prescription drug coverage.
Reason : Free Plans Are Not Really Free
This is true.
The real issue here is peoples misunderstanding of how Medicare Advantage plans work. Specifically, many people dont understand copayments and coinsuranceCoinsurance is a percentage of the total you are required to pay for a medical service. …. So, if you are wondering, how can Medicare Advantage plans be free?, they arent. Far from it.
Just like Original Medicare , Medicare Advantage is a cost-sharing system. With Original Medicare beneficiaries pay about 20 percent of the cost for all Medicare-approved services and Medicare pays 80 percent. With a Medicare Advantage plan, you also pay about 20 percent of your costs, but there is an annual cap that limits your out-of-pocket costs, which solves one of the biggest problems with Medicare Parts A and B.
NOTE: The annual maximum out-of-pocket limit thats built into all Medicare Advantage plans is a major advantage. For those beneficiaries with chronic health conditions, who cannot get a Medicare supplement, the annual MOOP keeps them out of bankruptcy from excessive medical bills.
ALSO: Some zero-dollar premium Advantage health plans can rebate all or a portion of your Medicare Part B premium back to members as part of their monthly Social Security check. In other words, the Medicare Advantage plan pays your Part B premium for you.
Also Check: Does Medicare Part B Cover Prolia Shots
Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment
For someone whose birthday falls on February 15th and whose, Part B benefits go live March 1st, you will be able to enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan starting in March.
Its important to enroll during this period because you will automatically qualify for a guaranteed issue right. This means you will be accepted into the plan of your choice regardless of your current health status. If you wait too long and your MSOEP expires, you may have to pay more or be rejected for coverage altogether.
Fall Medicare Open Enrollment Part D Prescription Drug Plans
If youre enrolled in Original Medicare , you can enroll in a stand-alone Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan during the Fall Medicare Open Enrollment period, which is the same time period described above . You need to live within the service area of the plan. You can make other coverage changes during the Fall Medicare Open Enrollment Period, such as:
- Switch from one Medicare Part D Prescription Drug plan to another.
- Drop your Medicare prescription drug coverage completely.
If you decide to drop your Medicare prescription drug coverage, be aware that if you go without this coverage for 63 days in a row or longer, you could face a Medicare Part D late-enrollment penalty if you decide to enroll again at a later date.
Recommended Reading: Should I Get Medicare Supplemental Insurance
Once I Disenroll From Medicare Advantage Am I Automatically Enrolled In Original Medicare
You shouldnt have to take any extra steps once you disenroll in Medicare Advantage. If you were enrolled in Medicare Advantage, you would have already continued paying your Original Medicare premiums anyway.
You may encounter issues, though, when leaving Medicare Advantage. If you voluntarily drop your Medicare Advantage coverage, you may run into difficulty when signing up for Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage or a Medigap supplemental insurance plan.
What Is The Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period To Switch Unitedhealthcare Medicare Advantage Plans
Lets say you enroll in a UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage plan and change your mind. Youll have another chance to make changes. During the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period from January 1 to March 31, you can make these changes to your UnitedHealthcare coverage:
- Switch Medicare Advantage plans.
- Disenroll from your Medicare Advantage plan and go back to Original Medicare. You can then also enroll in a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan if you need to.
During this time, there are some things you cant do. For example, if you have a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan already, you cant switch to a different Medicare Prescription Drug Plan. You also cant switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan.
These rules apply to all Medicare Advantage plans, including UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage plans.
You May Like: Are Motorized Wheelchairs Covered By Medicare
If You Want To Change Your Medicare Plan It’s Not Too Late
I signed up for a new Medicare Advantage plan during open enrollment in the fall, but now that Im using the plan, I found out that it doesnt cover some of my doctors. Can I switch to another Medicare plan before the next open enrollment?
Yes, if you act by February 14. But there are restrictions. You can only switch to an original Medicare plan, not to another Medicare Advantage plan. Since you would be leaving Medicare Advantage, you would also have the option to choose a Part D prescription-drug plan.
If you miss the February 14 deadline, you generally need to wait until the next open-enrollment period — October 15 to December 7, 2012 — to make changes to your coverage for the following year . See Understanding Medicare Enrollment Periods for more information about these special situations and about the general rules for enrolling in and changing plans.
If You Lose Your Medicaid Eligibility:
If youre covered by both Medicare and Medicaid and then you lose eligibility for Medicaid, you can switch from Medicare Advantage to Original Medicare up to three months from the date you lose Medicaid eligibility, or the date youre notified, whichever is later.
- If youre told in advance that youll lose your Medicaid coverage for the following year, you can switch to Original Medicare between January 1March 31.
You May Like: Is Oral Surgery Covered By Medicare
How Medicare Advantage’s Open Enrollment Period Works
If you’re enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, you now get the option to switch to a different one or drop Advantage altogether and revert back to original Medicare between Jan. 1 and March 31 each year. This open enrollment period is relatively new, and it offers seniors with Advantage plans a lot more flexibility than they previously had.
Why Medicare Advantage Plans Are Bad: 7 Top Complaints
by David Bynon, September 14, 2021
One of the most common questions we get here at MedicareWireMedicareWire is a Medicare insurance consulting agency. We founded MedicareWire after seeing and hearing how confusing and frustrating it is to find, understand, and choose a plan. Our services are free to the consumer…. is, are Medicare Advantage plansMedicare Advantage , also known as Medicare Part C, are health plans from private insurance companies that are available to people eligible for Original Medicare …. bad? In this article, we will explore this exceptionally important question by contrasting Medicare Advantage plans vs. Original Medicare and Medigap.
Read Also: What Are All The Medicare Parts
Reason : They Make You Get A Referral
In the case of HMO plans and some PPO plans, this is true. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, nearly all Medicare Advantage plan enrollees are in plans that require prior authorizationPrior authorization is a process used by health plans to control healthcare costs. Most HMO plans and some PPO plans require authorization before receiving certain treatments, medical services, or prescription drugs…. for some services. Health plans are in the business of making money and this is one of the primary ways they have to control costs.
By the way, Congress implemented a similar cost-saving measure with Medicare supplement insuranceMedicare Supplements are additional insurance policies that Medicare beneficiaries can purchase to cover the gaps in their Original Medicare health insurance coverage….. As of 1 January 2020, new Medicare beneficiaries cannot buy a Medigap plan that covers the Part B deductible. The hope is that this change will reduce unnecessary doctor visits.
Applying For Medicare Supplement Insurance At Age 65
When you turn 65, you will be granted a Medigap Open Enrollment Period during which you can apply for a Medigap plan. This six-month period will begin once you turn 65 and are enrolled in Medicare Part B .
During this period, insurance companies cant use your medical history like your hearing loss as a reason to raise your premiums or deny your coverage completely. They must issue you a plan at the same rate as someone with no significant medical history.
Don’t Miss: Does Medicare Pay For Bunion Surgery
What Happens When I Disenroll From A Medicare Advantage Plan
When you disenroll from a MAP to enroll into another MAP plan or a Part D plan, your former plan is automatically terminated by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid , Gavino says. If you switch to a new Medicare Advantage Plan or Part D plan, your old coverage will end and new coverage begin on January 1.
If you disenroll from a Medicare Advantage Plan without enrolling in another Advantage plan, youll be automatically returned to Original Medicare without Part D. Youll have the opportunity to resume the same Medigap policy you had before joining Medicare Advantage, if you had one. If your old policy is no longer available, youre guaranteed the right to buy an A, B, C, F, K or L Medigap policy in your state if you had Medicare Advantage for less than one year and you apply within 63 days of terminating your Medicare Advantage Plan.
Remember to keep using the providers in your old plans network until your new plan becomes effective.
The Corporate Plan To Murder Medicare Runs Through Medicare Advantage
In 2003, George W Bush set up the destruction and privatization of Medicare. The end of “real Medicare” is getting closer every day, and Congress and Medicare’s administrators are doing nothing.
Last Friday the Centers for Medicare Services announced a 14.5% increase in Medicare Part B premiums, raising the monthly payments by the lowest-income Medicare recipients from $148.50 a month to $170.10 a month next year.
Congress must stop these for-profit parasites who are steadily draining “real” Medicare of funds and resources while producing billions in profits and often outright stolen funds for the insurance industry.
If you’re trying to live on the bottom rung of Social Security , that’s consequential. People with Medigap policies are also seeing their policy price rises announced this month.
Two months ago I wrote about the Medicare Advantage Scam and how it can screw consumers. This price hike, though, raises the larger issue of what’s happening to Medicare itself and whether the entire system may be out of business in a few years, in part because our government is being robbed blind by all these so-called “Advantage” plans.
It all began with George W. Bush, who’d spent most of his life openly and proudly campaigning to privatize Medicare and Social Security.
This was the GOP’s big chance to finally privatize Medicare, albeit one customer at a time.
Here are a few quotes and summaries from the report:
Recommended Reading: Does Medicare Call To Verify Information
Can I Change My Medicare Plan
Medicare provides certain time periods when you can change Medicare plans. The main one is the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period, which runs from October 15 to December 7 each year. Anyone on Medicare can make coverage changes during this time that then go into effect the following year.
But what do you do if your new Medicare plan doesnt fit your needs? Or if during the year you are caught off guard by changes to your plan benefits? Maybe your refill is denied at the pharmacy counter because your medication is not on your plans list of covered drugs . Or maybe you learn that your doctor is not in your plans network.
If any of these things happen, you may be able to change Medicare plans before the next Annual Enrollment Period. But youll need to meet certain qualifications.