If you’re disappointed with your current Medicare Advantage Plan, the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period (MAOEP) is an annual window to make changes to your existing plan. Frequently, we hear how beneficiaries decide to enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan without fully understanding how these plans work.
It happens when beneficiaries try to take on the task of enrolling in a plan without an agent. Sometimes, a beneficiary may have enlisted the help of an agent who didn’t have their clients’ best interest in mind or simply did not fully understand the needs of the client.
Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period
The Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period runs annually between January 1 and March 31.
During this window, a current Medicare Advantage enrollee can:
- Switch from one Medicare Advantage Plan to another
- Disenroll from a Medicare Advantage Plan and return to Medicare with or without a prescription drug plan
- Switch from one Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug Plan to another
You can only make one switch to your health care coverage during this time, so choose consciously. Once you make that change over, you cannot make another change until the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period unless you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.
Who is Eligible for the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period?
This enrollment period is only for beneficiaries who currently have a Medicare Advantage plan and wish to change. This is not a time for new beneficiaries seeking to enroll in Part A, Part B, or Part D. It is also not a time for those on Original Medicare to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan. For those familiar with Medicare, you may remember this time as the Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period.
When is My Effective Date Following the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period?
If you enroll in a policy during the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period, coverage starts on the first day of the month following the date of the new enrollment request. For example, requests in January become effective on February 1. Applications in February become effective March 1.
The Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period previously ran annually between January 1 through February 14. The ACA stopped the Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period in 2010. The problem with discontinuing the Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period is that it forced beneficiaries to keep a plan they didn’t want, or that didn’t fit their health care needs, for an entire year. It was then replaced with the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period.
Many times, beneficiaries are under the false assumption that their Medicare Advantage plan is the same as a Medicare Supplement. This is far from the truth.
There are many misconceptions about Medicare Advantage plans. So, it is imperative to ensure you are on the best plan to fit your needs. By utilizing the MAOEP you can be sure your Medicare Advantage plan is the right plan for you.
How to Get Help During the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period
Are you unhappy with your current coverage? Do you wonder if there is a better plan option available to you? If you’re looking to change your current Medicare Advantage plan during the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period, give us a call or visit our Medicareful site to see rates for plans in your area. Your Medicare health insurance specialists at Total Benefit Solutions, Inc are here to help you! (215)355-2121.