Hopefully, you were able to evaluate your Medicare plan and make the necessary changes during the Annual Election Period in the fall. But if you overlooked that opportunity, or you’ve enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan and are now having second thoughts, you have another chance to change your plan during Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment from January 1 to March 31.
Here’s what you need to know.
If you’re currently enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, you can talk to a broker about any concerns you have regarding the plan’s benefits, networks, your out-of-pocket expenses, or anything else. You can then review your current plan to other Medicare Advantage plans available in your area.
If you find another Medicare Advantage plan that you feel is a better fit for you, you can drop your current plan and opt into the new one.
Your other option is to drop out of Medicare Advantage entirely and go back to Original Medicare (Medicare Parts A and B). Remember, Medicare Part A (hospitalization insurance) is free to most people, whereas Part B coverage comes at a monthly premium. You can access any providers that accept Medicare, but you will lose additional benefits that are often wrapped into a Medicare Advantage plan. Copayments and deductibles work differently under Original Medicare, too.
If you do return to Original Medicare, you can add a Part D (prescription) plan. Make sure to review the plan’s formulary, or list of covered drugs, carefully to be sure your important prescriptions are covered.
There’s one thing you can’t do during Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment: Those enrolled in Original Medicare can’t change over to a Medicare Advantage plan. If you wish to do that, ask our brokers if you might qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. Otherwise, you will need to wait until the Annual Election Period which opens October 15.
Remember, assistance with your Medicare plan decisions is always free.