Medicare Open Enrollment Period
Looking to make the jump from original Medicare policy to a Medicare Advantage plan? Just want to enroll in a Medicare plan? Sometimes the plan that worked well in the past no longer fits your personal needs, and it is necessary to make a change. If your initial enrollment period has passed, you are still able to make changes to your Medicare plan during the Annual Enrollment Period. Annual Enrollment for Medicare Advantage and prescription drug plans spans from October 15th to December 7th.
The Medicare Annual Enrollment Season
The Medicare Annual Enrollment season for 2017 benefits begins on October 15th and ends on December 7th. During Annual Enrollment, eligible consumers are able to make any changes to their Part C Advantage or Part D prescription drug plans. You are also able to join a Medicare Advantage plan with our without drug coverage. Another option is to switch Advantage plans. Beneficiaries can add, drop, or change their prescription drug plans during the Annual Enrollment period. If you are not satisfied with your prescription drug coverage or Medicare Advantage plan, you can drop it completely during this period without any stipulations or restrictions.
Each year, you have a chance to make changes to your Medicare Advantage or Medicare prescription drug coverage for the following year. There are 2 separate enrollment periods each year. Open Enrollment Period for Medicare Advantage and Medicare prescription drug coverage is October 15 to December 7th.
The Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period runs from January 1-February 14th. If you’re in a Medicare Advantage Plan, you can leave your plan and switch to Original Medicare during this time. If you switch to Original Medicare during this period, you’ll have until February 14 to also join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan to add drug coverage. Your coverage will begin the first day of the month after the plan gets your enrollment form.
There are special enrollment periods for people with extenuating circumstances, but for the most part, many people enroll during Annual Enrollment or during their initial enrollment period. Changing your plan during the Annual Enrollment Period can save you money and provide you with better health insurance coverage. The Annual Enrollment Period provides you with more flexibility in your Medicare coverage. If you want to keep your plan, simply do not make any changes. The recent changes due to health care reform make it even more important for beneficiaries to look over their plans before the end of the Annual Enrollment Period and ensure they have the best plan to fit their needs.
Before you switch your plan, look over the new link plan materials and make sure you are aware of any changes to the policy. Taking the time to do this before making a change helps you find the best possible coverage. Overall, the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period allows Medicare beneficiaries to take control of their health coverage and ensure that they are enrolled in the appropriate plan.