What You Need to Know About Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period

Jan 3, 2024

The Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment period is an important time for Medicare consumers to assess their current plans and make any necessary changes. It occurs from January 1st to March 31st each year, giving consumers a three-month window to decide if they want to keep their current Medicare Advantage plan or make a switch.

changes you are aloud to make during the Medicare Advantage Open enrollment period

During this enrollment period, consumers with Medicare Advantage plans have the opportunity to make one change. They can switch from one Medicare Advantage Plan to another, or they can revert back to original Medicare. This means that consumers can also choose to pick up a Medicare supplement and a stand-alone drug plan (Part D) if they wish.

 

The purpose of this enrollment period is to provide Medicare consumers with one more chance to review their current plan and decide if it still meets their needs for the upcoming year. Any changes made during this period will be effective on the 1st of the following month. For example, if you make a change in January, it will be effective in February, and if you make a change in February, it will be effective on March 1st.

 

There are several reasons why you may want to change your Medicare Advantage plan during this enrollment period. One reason could be a change in health conditions, where your current plan may no longer be suitable for your needs. Another reason could be a change in doctors or a change in your plan’s provider network. You may also want to consider changing your plan if your prescription drug needs have changed or if your plan’s cost sharing has increased, such as deductibles, premiums, copays, etc. Additionally, there may be new plans available that offer better benefits and costs that can better meet your needs.

 

It’s common for people to realize the changes in their current Medicare Advantage plans only after the new year begins. This makes the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment period crucial for consumers who may have overlooked upcoming plan changes. The period provides an opportunity to switch back to your original plan or choose another plan that better suits your needs. It’s important to note that you can only make one switch during this time, and it will generally be effective for the rest of the calendar year.

Explanation of what you can't do during the Medicare advantage Open enrollment period

You Can’t Do This

It’s essential to understand that the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment period is not valid for changing Part D coverage. If you have a Part D plan and want to switch, you will need to explore other valid election periods. Similarly, if you only have original Medicare or original Medicare with a supplemental plan, you cannot switch to a Medicare Advantage plan during this enrollment period. This period is strictly for those Medicare consumers who already have a Medicare Advantage Plan and would like to make a change.

 

If you have a Medicare Advantage Plan and want to switch back to original Medicare and pick up a Medicare Supplement and Part D plan, you are allowed to do so. However, depending on your state’s underwriting guidelines, you may have to answer medical underwriting questions and may not be approved for a supplemental plan. In states like New York, where my office is located, we have guaranteed issue rights 365 days a year, making it easy to switch from Medicare Advantage to a supplemental plan if desired.

In conclusion, if you have a Medicare Advantage plan, it’s important to double-check if your current plan will still serve you well for the upcoming year. During the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment period, you should pay close attention to any provider network changes, premium and cost increases like deductibles and copays, and changes to the plan’s drug formularies. To review your personal situation properly, we recommend making a list of all medical providers, hospitals, and prescriptions that are important to you. Additionally, compiling a list of things you liked and disliked about your current plan will help you compare it to new or existing plans available to you. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to reach out via email or phone, and we would be happy to assist you.   Email us at medicare@paulbinsurance.com or just call 631-358-5793 with any Medicare questions.

Paul Barrett

Paul Barrett – Principal Agent at The Modern Medicare Agency

With over 15 years of dedicated experience in the Medicare industry, Paul Barrett serves as the Principal Agent at The Modern Medicare Agency. Specializing in a comprehensive range of Medicare options, including Medicare Supplement Plans (Medigap), Medicare Advantage Plans, and Medicare Part D, Paul has established himself as a trusted Medicare consultant and advisor.

Paul’s commitment to excellence is highlighted by his impressive achievements. Since 2007, he has personally helped over 10,000 Medicare consumers navigate their healthcare options, ensuring they receive the best possible coverage tailored to their needs. His expertise spans across more than 20 states, and he holds the esteemed title of Certified Medicare Insurance Planner.

At The Modern Medicare Agency, Paul Barrett continues to leverage his vast knowledge and experience to guide clients through the complexities of Medicare, offering them clarity, confidence, and peace of mind with their healthcare choices.