Every year from October 15 to December 7 is Medicare’s Open Enrollment. This is the time you can switch from Medicare to Medicare Advantage, and vice versa. You can also change your Medicare Advantage or Part D plans.
Time flies and things happen, and before you know it, open enrollment has ended. You may have not gotten the chance to look over plans, change plans to meet your needs, or did not have enough time to research your options. But luckily if you missed open enrollment, there are still some options for you to choose from.
Medicare Advantage OEP
Beginning 2019, the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period runs from January 1 to March 31 every year. During this period, you can switch Medicare Advantage plans, or disenroll from their Medicare Advantage Plan to Original Medicare. If you choose to switch back to Original Medicare, then you can enroll in a Part D prescription drug plan. Do some research to make sure whichever way to choose to go that the network covers your doctors.
Medicare Special Enrollment Period, SEP
If you missed the open enrollment period, you can qualify for Medicare Special Enrollment Period. Here are the circumstances to qualify for SEP:
- Moved out of plan’s service area
- Lost employer-based health insurance
- Used to be eligible for Medicaid and now you are not
- Your plan is ending its contract with Medicare
- Moving back to US after living outside of the US
5 Star Plans
In 2010, the Health care Reform Law created a star rating system for Medicare Plans. One star being poor, and 5 stars being the best. Every fall the ratings are updated for these plans. Beneficiaries can enroll in a Medicare Advantage 5-star plan once a year from December 8 to November 30th.
Medicare Supplement Plans
Medicare Supplement Plans can help you pay for Medicare Part B bills that may be hard for you to pay. These plans are sold by private insurance companies, and you can always consider buying one as long as you are 65 years old. There are 10 different supplement plans to choose from, some covering more than others. If you consider buying one outside of the Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment Period (the 6 month period beginning the month you turn 65), then you may be subject to paying more for pre-existing conditions.
Change Your Drugs
If you missed the chance to find a better plan to cover your prescriptions, then you can always talk to your doctor about cheaper drug options. The Medicare Modernization Act requires that Medicare offer at least two drugs in each category class. What this means is that you can talk with your doctor and ask to take the alternative drug that costs lower.
Missing the Medicare open enrollment period can cause a lot of stress. EZ.Insure offers agents within your region to help you and answer any questions you may have. Our agents are highly trained to provide you the best option for your needs. The agents will provide you with Medicare Supplement quotes from top carriers in your area, and even help you sign up at no cost. To get quotes, enter your zip code in the bar above, or to speak to an agent directly, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 888-753-7207. Do not worry if you missed the OEP, we can help you get on the right track.