As a result of new federal legislation, subscribers of Medicare Advantage Plans will have three additional months (January-March each year) to change their plan.
Why would you want to change plans now?
Some reasons could include:
- You missed the Annual Fall Open Enrollment period (October 15-December 7)
- You didn’t realize your plan doesn’t include your medications, preferred doctors, hospitals, pharmacies, etc.
- Your health condition has changed and you want better coverage.
- Your financial situation has changed and you can’t afford your current plan.
- You or your relative didn’t understand the limitations, cost or consequences of their current plan
Normally, you wouldn’t be able to change plans for these reason during the calendar year, except in special circumstances. However, now you will have 3 additional months to make a change each year.
To be eligible to make a change, you must currently be a subscriber of a Medicare Advantage plan (as opposed to being a subscriber to Original Medicare).
What are Some Permitted Changes?
- You can change from one Medicare Advantage plan to another (from the same or a different insurer)
- You can select a new plan that either increases or decreases your coverage and/or cost.
- You can terminate your Medicare Advantage plan and switch to Original Medicare and buy (or not buy), a stand-alone Prescription Drug Plan (PDP).
- In some states, like New York, you can also choose to purchase a Medicare Supplemental (Medigap) plan for added coverage to Original Medicare, with or without purchasing a PDP.
Is there anyone who can help you look at your options and their consequences?
Yes, there are a number of free independent resource people that don’t receive any sales compensation that can help you understand these complex issues. They include:
SHIP connects you with local individual and group information/assistance regarding Medicare issues and questions.
National Helpline: 800-333-4114
MRC helps people with Medicare understand their rights and benefits, and navigate the Medicare system.