January, 2020 — One of confusing things about Medicare is that it has two different open enrollment periods. We are currently in the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period, which runs from Jan. 1 through March 31. We have previously written about the Medicare Open Enrollment period and which type of Medicare might be best for you.
The different enrollment periods cover a specific set of actions, so it is important to understand the difference.
These periods are the times when you can sign up for, switch, or disenroll from various plans.
The current Medicare Advantage period allows actions, as the name would imply, pertaining to Medicare Advantage plans. If your plan didn’t turn out to be what you were looking for, or some other event in your life suggests a change, consider what you can and can’t do now.
Here is what can be done during the current period.
1. Change Medicare Advantage (MA) plan to another MA plan
2. Change MA Prescription Drug (MAPD) plan to another MAPD plan
3. Change your MA plan to make it a MAPD plan
4. Change MAPD plan so it is only a MA plan
5. Disenroll from MA or MAPD to Original Medicare and enroll in a Part D Plan
During this period you cannot:
1. Switch a Prescription Drug Plan (PDP) to a new PDP
2. Change from a Medicare Savings Account
3. Change from a Cost Plan (These plans are ending in several states).
There are Special Enrollment Periods that allow you to make changes to Medicare plans outside of the two open enrollment periods. Those include losing coverage, changing locations, and aging into Medicare.
Comments: Have you ever made changes to your Medicare coverage during one of these periods? If you are unhappy with your coverage or costs it might be worthwhile investigating at this time.