Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Begins January 1
Medicare’s Annual Election Period ended earlier this month, on December 7. That was your chance to review your Medicare plan and make changes that will take effect beginning on January 1. Hopefully, you’re feeling satisfied with your choices.
But if you’re having second thoughts, you might have another opportunity to evaluate and make changes to your plan. January 1 marks the beginning of the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period, which allows those enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans to change their minds if necessary.
This enrollment period only applies to those enrolled in an Advantage plan. So if you’re on Original Medicare, you will have to stick with your plan unless you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period at some point during the year. But for those of you enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan as of January 1, here are the choices before you:
- You can drop your Advantage plan and go back to Original Medicare
- If you return to Original Medicare, you can also add a Part D (prescription) plan
- You can change from one Medicare Advantage plan to another
Medicare beneficiaries change their plans for a number of reasons, such as a move to a new service area, changing prescription needs, a desire to lower out-of-pocket expenses, or a favorite provider is no longer in-network on an Advantage plan. With this enrollment window approaching on January 1, take the time to review your plan, understand which providers are covered, and take a look at your prescription drug formulary to make sure your medications will still be covered next year.
The Open Enrollment Period will run from January 1 through March 31, with changes becoming effective on the first of the month following the month in which you make the change. So for example, if you change your plan on January 15, your new plan will begin on February 1.
To learn more about what you can do during this time, call us for free guidance. We can help you decide whether your current Medicare Advantage plan still works well for you, or if another plan might better suit your needs.