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Fall Open Enrollment for Medicare is around the corner. Every year, from October 15 to December 7, Medicare beneficiaries may make changes to their existing Medicare coverage in a variety of ways.

During the open enrollment period, you may switch from Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) to Medicare Advantage (or vice-versa), switch from one Medicare Advantage plan to another and join or change a prescription drug plan (Medicare Part D).

Prescription Drug plans often make changes to the list of covered drugs for the upcoming year, so it is important to review your existing drug plan to be sure your medications will be covered going forward.

If you are already enrolled in a Medicare Part D prescription plan or a Medicare Advantage Plan and you don’t want to make changes to your coverage for the coming year, you typically do not need to do anything during open enrollment, assuming your current plan will continue to be available. If your plan is being discontinued and isn’t eligible for renewal, you should receive a non-renewal notice from your carrier prior to open enrollment.

Effective in 2019, between January 1 and March 31 each year, if you are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, you can elect to leave your plan and return to Original Medicare, and buy a Part D prescription drug plan to supplement your Original Medicare. You also have the option to switch to a different Medicare Advantage plan during this time. From 2011 through 2018, there was not an option to switch to a different Medicare Advantage plan outside of the fall open enrollment period unless you had a circumstance that allowed you a Special Enrollment Period.

NOTE:  If you have purchased a Medigap plan (issued by a private insurance company), the Fall Open Enrollment does not apply to you. There are 10 types of Medigap plans available (A-N) and each plan corresponds with a certain level of benefits. Medigap Plans have a six-month Open Enrollment window immediately after you turn 65 or upon your enrollment in Part B, whichever comes later. However, if you are past your six-month window and want to change plans, you are encouraged to check your state rules regarding timing and requirements for Medigap plan changes.

Questions about Open Enrollment or your Medicare coverage?  Contact us today.


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