Medicare’s Open Enrollment 2018 begins in October. Many seniors are confused about what options are available to them at this time. This article explains the dos, don’ts, cans, and cannots of Medicare’s Annual Election Period (aka Open Enrollment).
What Can I Do During Open Enrollment 2018?
During Open Enrollment Medicare you can switch your Part D or Medicare Advantage plan. You never have to answer to fill out a medical questionnaire to be enrolled -the only two exceptions with Medicare Advantage are if you are currently in a Long Term Care Facility or if you have End Stage Renal Disease (these are the two cases you cannot enroll in an MA plan).
When is Medicare’s 2018 Open Enrollment?
Medicare’s Open Enrollment is always October 15 -December 7. The effective date of the plan will always be January 1.
What Can’t I Do During Open Enrollment 2018?
During Medicare Open Enrollment 2018 you cannot do the following:
- Switch Medigap plans plan without answering medical questions
- Join Part B, unless you have a qualifying event (call us at 800-930-7956 to learn more)
- Switch from Medicare Advantage to Medigap without answering medical questions
Why is Medicare’s Open Enrollment Important?
Medicare’s Open Enrollment because an MA or drug plan can change their formularies each year. This means that a drug covered by your plan one year, may not cover that drug at the same price, or worse yet, at all the next. As well as, your Medicare Advantage plan can change their network of doctors and facilities, change they way they cover a medical service, and/or drop additional benefits like dental, vision, and hearing.
Can I Switch My Drug or MA plan outside of Open Enrollment?
The answer is maybe. If you moved out of your plan’s area or your plan mislead you, you can switch. For most others, you can’t, unless you qualify for the Medicare 5-star rule. This is if your MA or drug plan is not rated 5 stars, but you find a 5 star plan available in your area, you can switch anytime of the year. The only thing is, Medicare is strict on passing out 5 stars, so most markets don’t offer them. If you would like help finding a 5-star plan call our licensed independent insurance agents at 800-930-7956.
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