I HAVE A MEDICARE ADVANTAGE PLAN
(also known as a Part C or MA Plan)
If you are already on a Medicare Advantage Plan and are unhappy with your plan benefits or the price of your premium, there are options available to you.
During the Annual Election Period (AEP), or during the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment (OEP), you can:
- Switch from one Medicare Advantage plan to another
- Switch back to Original Medicare + enroll in a Prescription Drug Plan
- Join, drop or switch a Prescription Drug Plan (also known as Part D Plan)
*If you have been on a Medicare Advantage plan due to a disability and you are turning 65, these options are also available to you during your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP).
Under certain circumstances, you can qualify for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) and enroll in a Medigap policy. Some examples that qualify you for Special Enrollment are:
- You have a Medicare Advantage Plan and the insurance company left your service area
- Your Medicare Advantage Plan has been discontinued or is leaving Medicare
- You have moved out of your Medicare Advantage Plan’s service area
If you lost your Medicare Advantage plan due to special circumstances, a Medigap plan may be an option to you for a limited time. Please contact us if you think you may qualify for Special Enrollment.
Annual Election Period (AEP)
The Annual Election Period (AEP) is from October 15th – December 7th every year.
Changes to Medicare plans made during this time will take effect on January 1st of the following year. For example, changes made in November of 2019 will take place January 1st of 2020.
Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment (OEP)
The Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment (OEP) takes place every year from January 1st – March 31st. Changes to Medicare plans made during this time will take effect the 1st of the following month of applying. For example, changes made in March will be effective April 1st.
*The new OEP is replacing the Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period, which used to be January 1 – February 14.
*You must have already been enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan to make changes during the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period.
Enroll in a Prescription Drug Plan
It is a requirement for every Medicare-eligible person to have a Prescription Drug Plan (also called a Part D Plan). Most Medicare Advantage Plans already include a Part D plan (these joint plans are frequently called MA-PD’s). If you switch back to Original Medicare, you will lose your Prescription Drug Coverage and need to enroll in a separate Part D Plan. If you do not, you will incur financial penalties.
Initial Enrollment Period (IEP)
The first time you can enroll is called your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP), which is a 7-month time frame. It begins 3 months before the month you turn 65, includes the month you turn 65, and ends 3 months after the month you turn 65. For example, if you’re 65th birthday was in the month of May, you would be eligible to enroll February 1 – August 31st.
Special Enrollment Period (SEP)
A Special Enrollment Period (SEP) allows you to enroll in Medicare plans outside of your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) and the General Enrollment Period (GEP).