Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment

Understanding your Medicare Advantage options

by Amy De Vore+ on Oct 02, 2016

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A little known fact, Medicare Advantage has open enrollment each year. There are also special enrollment periods allowed for other times. We’ve listed them for you, to help you better understand your Medicare options.

This article was written June 20, 2014 but updated on the date above.

Medicare Advantage Details

Medicare Advantage (MA), also known as Medicare Part C, replaces Original Medicare. Basically you trade a large network of providers for a small network with extras like gym memberships, dental, and Rx coverage. Each MA plan is different, and you should do research before purchasing any Medicare Advantage plan.

Open Enrollment Period for Medicare Advantage

There are two types of open enrollment into Medicare Advantage.

    1st Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment When you are first eligible for Medicare there is a 7-month open enrollment period. It starts with 3 months before your 65th birthday, the month of your birthday, and the three months that follow your birthday.
    2nd Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment There is the yearly open enrollment period in which you can change your plan regardless of preexisting conditions. This period runs from October 15-Dec 7.

MA Special Enrollment Period

If you don’t like your Medicare Advantage plan you can switch to a 5-star Medicare Advantage plan once a year during Open Enrollment Medicare.

Switching from a Medicare Advantage Plan to Medigap

This isn’t as easy as switching from one Medicare Advantage to another MA plan. Medigap is supplemental insurance to fill in Medicare’s gaps, hence the name. Most of the time you will not be able to switch from Medicare Advantage to Medigap. Here are the two exceptions:

    1st MA to Medigap Open EnrollmentIf you chose a Medicare Advantage plan when you were initially eligible you are able to switch to a Medigap within the first twelve months. You have 60 days before your plan end date and up to 63 days after your Medicare Advantage plan ends to switch without a health check.*
    2nd MA to Medigap Open EnrollmentIf your Medicare Advantage plan no longer covers you in the area you live, or you move to an area that Medicare Advantage does not cover, you can switch to any Medigap plan within the 60 days before your plan end date and up to 63 days after.*

*Your Medigap plan cannot start until your Medicare Advantage plan ends.

For any further questions about switching your Medicare Advantage plan click the button below or contact Senior65 for assistance.

Learn More about Open Enrollment

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