The Open Enrollment Period for Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans begins on October 15th and ends on December 7th. Medicare Advantage plans are generally HMO and PPO plans offered by commercial insurance companies that have a contract with Medicare to offer plans with benefits similar to Original Medicare. Most Medicare Advantage plans include a prescription drug benefit. If you enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan that offers prescription drug coverage, you cannot choose a different Medicare Part D prescription drug plan.
What does Open Enrollment mean for me?
Our Agency has been active in assisting our clients in choosing and enrolling in Medicare Advantage and Part D prescription drug plans. The Open Enrollment period is a time to re-evaluate your options. The cost and benefits generally change in January of each year. Give us a call to discuss your options. We can help you evaluate options with tools available at www.medicare.gov. In many cases we have stored your prescription drug list there and can quickly pull it up and compare options for 2018. We can also meet with you to review options. CMS (Center for Medicare Services) regulations require a scope of appointment form to schedule a face-to-face meeting to discuss Medicare Advantage or Medicare Part D Prescription drug plans. This form will be sent to you at the time a meeting is requested and needs to be signed and returned to us before the appointed meeting.
Is Open Enrollment the only time I can change my plan?
Enrollments and changes to Medicare Advantage plans can also take place at other times of the year for those who are eligible for “Special Enrollment Periods.” Special enrollment periods are available if you move out of the plan coverage area, lose group coverage, become eligible for or lose eligibility for a low income subsidy and other changes in circumstances. If you want to make changes at other times of the year check with us to see if you qualify.
What if I have a Medicare Supplement plan?
Medicare Supplement plans are not governed by the open enrollment period. You can change a Medicare Supplement plan at any time during the year. Your ability to enroll in a different Medicare Supplement plan is governed by the plan underwriting guidelines. You may have to answer health questions and be approved to enroll in a new plan. There are also certain guaranteed issue circumstances for Medicare Supplement. If your individual Medicare Advantage plan is cancelled, you lose coverage under a group plan, or wish to return to original Medicare after being enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan for the first time, you may have guaranteed issue rights to do so. Contact us for details.