Conley & Conley Insurance Solutions

Changes to Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment

Did you know that the Open Enrollment Period (OEP) for Medicare Advantage Plans has changed? The new plan will run from January 1 through March 31 and will allow those enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan (MA) or a Medicare Advantage with Prescription Drugs plan (MAPD) to make an election to go to another MA plan or to leave their MA plan and return to Original Medicare Part A and Part B. You can also elect to join a stand-alone Medicare Part D (prescription) plan when you return to Original Medicare.

This new Open Enrollment Period is more limited than the Annual Election Period (AEP) that runs every year from October 15 through December 7 (also known as the Fall Open Enrollment Period). See note below.

Why would I want to use this new Open Enrollment Period and change my current plan?

Some of the extra benefits of a Medicare Advantage plan can change from year to year. For example, suppose you take certain medications and you have a Medicare Advantage with Prescription Drug plan. Your plan might cover your prescriptions now, but sometimes a plan changes its formulary (list of covered medications). You may benefit by changing to a plan that covers your medication – and you can make the change in January through March if the Fall Open Enrollment Period has passed.

Why would I want to enroll in a stand-alone Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan?

If you drop your Medicare Advantage plan to return to Original Medicare, you might want to enroll in a stand-alone Medicare Prescription Drug Plan. Your Medicare Advantage plan most likely included prescription drug coverage, but Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) does not. The new Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period described above lets you do this.

Note: this new Open Enrollment Period does not provide an opportunity for an individual enrolled in Original Medicare to join a Medicare Advantage plan. It also does not allow for Part D changes for individuals enrolled in Original Medicare, including those enrolled in stand-alone Part D plans. It is also not available for those enrolled in Medicare Savings Accounts or other Medicare health plan types (such as cost plans or PACE).

Still have questions? Please contact us – we will be happy to talk to you.

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