The Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period, which runs from January 1 to March 31, is a time for people who are already enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans to make changes to their coverage. During this time, those Medicare beneficiaries can switch to a different Medicare Advantage plan or go back to Original Medicare, and can add Medicare Part D if needed.
What Can You Do During the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period?
The Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period is not the time to sign up for a Medicare Advantage plan for the first time. If you are not already signed up for a Medicare Advantage plan and would like to join a Part C plan, you can do so during your initial enrollment period, a special enrollment period if you qualify for one, or during the open enrollment period, which runs from October 15 to December 7 each year. To sign up for a Medicare Advantage plan, you must be first enrolled in both Medicare Part A and Part B and live within the plan’s coverage area.
The Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period is for people who already have a Medicare Advantage plan. If they are not satisfied with their plan, they can use the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment period to switch to a different Medicare Advantage plan with or without drug coverage. They can also decide to drop their Medicare Advantage plan and go back to Original Medicare; if they choose this option and would be losing prescription drug coverage, they can join a Medicare Part D plan at this time.
Knowing When to Switch, Renew, or Drop Medicare Advantage Plans
How do you know when your Medicare Advantage plan is no longer the right fit? The easiest way is to know when a plan is the right fit for you, your healthcare needs and your budget.
How to Compare Medicare Advantage Plans
When choosing a Medicare Advantage plan, you need to consider your healthcare needs. Medicare Advantage plans are able to offer coverage beyond what you can find in Medicare Part A and Part B. If you need routine dental, hearing or vision care or take prescription drugs, you need to look for a Medicare Advantage plan that offers those benefits.
Plans will vary in their pricing. That means everything from the plan’s monthly premiums to its deductible, copayments and coinsurance. Search first for the coverage, but once you have narrowed the plans down to a few options, you can look closely at their pricing.
You can use Medicare resources such as the Medicare Plan Finder to help you find, compare and enroll in a new Medicare Advantage or Medicare Part D plan in your area.
If you are looking for additional help before choosing a new Medicare Advantage plan, seek out Medicare experts. Carolina Senior Benefits can match you with the best plan available for your situation. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.