Changes to Medicare Advantage Plans are Still Possible

The Annual Enrollment Period is over…But the Open Enrollment Period is now!

Wait, what?

Confusing, I know. But these enrollment periods provide you with unique options. The Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) just ended on December 7th. AEP is the time Medicare beneficiaries have the option to consult with an independent representative and decide if their plan is still the best option for their medical and financial needs. During this time, you may have made changes to Medicare Advantage or Part D plans, such as:
  • Switching from one Medicare Advantage plan to another 
  • Switching from an Advantage plan to Original Medicare
  • Switching from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan
  • Join, drop or switch a Prescription Drug plan 

If you made any of these changes during the Annual Enrollment Period, they became effective on January 1st of this year.

Some changes to Medicare Advantage and Part D plans are possible until March 31st.

Now that your new plan is in effect, you may discover that the benefits and coverage aren’t as comprehensive as you thought. Good news! You can utilize the *Open Enrollment Period (OEP) to choose a plan that better suits your needs. This enrollment period will run from January 1st to March 31st. During this time frame, you can make the following changes to Medicare Advantage and Part D plans: 

  • Switch from one Medicare Advantage plan to another (a new option initiated in 2019)
  • Switch back to Original Medicare (in which case, enrolling in a Prescription Drug plan is recommended)
  • Join, drop or switch a Prescription Drug plan

If any changes to Medicare Advantage or Part D plans are made during OEP, your new policy will take effect on the 1st of the following month. (For example, changes made in March will be effective April 1st.)

Enrolling in Original Medicare during this time is also possible.

For those that missed their Initial Enrollment Period (IEP), which is based on birth date, you can still enroll in Original Medicare any time between January 1st – March 31st. However, for you, this period is called the General Enrollment Period (GEP). Unfortunately, it comes with a late-enrollment penalty.

For Part B, the penalty is an additional 10% of your premium for each 12-month period that you were eligible but not enrolled. While there is a late-enrollment penalty for Part A, it doesn’t apply to anyone receiving Part A for free (which is based on work history). If you decide to utilize this period to enroll in Original Medicare, your plan will not be effective until July 1st. 

If you or someone you know is interested in making changes to Medicare Advantage or Part D plans before this enrollment period is over, contact one of our licensed representatives for a free, no-obligation review of your coverage options. 

*The new OEP is replacing the Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period, which used to be January 1 – February 14.