There’s still time to sign up with a Medicare Advantage plan. But the clock is ticking!
Sign Up with Medicare Deadline
Your Medicare Annual Election Period begins October 15 and ends on December 7th. That’s the only time during the year when you can make changes to your Medicare Advantage enrollments. Once that window’s shut, it’s shut! (Though you can switch back early next year if you don’t like your new plan)
The only way you can make changes after December 7th is if you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.
You don’t want to miss this deadline: This year is one of the most exciting times to explore new Medicare Advantage plans in years! There have been a lot of new developments and innovations among Medicare Advantage plans.
Many areas now have a zero-premium Medicare advantage option!
What is Medicare Advantage?
Medicare Advantage (also called “Medicare Part C”) allows Medicare beneficiaries to access their benefits through a private insurance company. Medicare Advantage plans provide all the benefits available from Original Medicare (Medicare Parts A and B).
These private companies also compete by providing other benefits as well – usually for a monthly premium. However, as we mentioned above, there are many Medicare Advantage plans now available that don’t have a monthly premium at all!
Get a Free Medicare Advantage Quote
Sign Up for Medicare: Why Change Your Plan?
There are many reasons to consider changing your Medicare strategy for the next year. Here are just a few examples:
- Your budget changed and you want a plan with a lower premiums or zero premiums
- Your medical situation changed and you need specialized care
- You’ve developed a chronic condition such as diabetes and you want a Medicare Advantage plan that provides more focused care
- You have moved to a new city and need a plan with a network of providers in your area
- Your drug plan may have changed its formulary, and dropped coverage for a drug you need.
- Your Part D plan or Medicare Advantage plan changed the tier level for a prescription drug you take
- Your existing plan has changed its pricing or benefit offerings
- A better plan is now available in your area.
What Can You Do During Open Enrollment?
Open enrollment allows you to take any of the following actions – without medical underwriting:
- Switch from Original Medicare (Part a and B) to Medicare Advantage
- Change from a Medicare Advantage plan to Original Medicare
- Switch from one Medicare Advantage plan to another
- Enroll in a stand-alone Medicare Part D prescription drug plan, if you didn’t join one when you first became eligible for Medicare: (Note: If you didn’t maintain creditable coverage, you may have a late enrollment penalty).
- Change from one Part D prescription drug plan to another
- Cancel prescription drug coverage completely
As long as you take these actions during Open Enrollment, you cannot be turned down for medical reasons.
Any changes you make will become effective January 1st of the following year (as long as the plan receives your request by December 7th).
Am I eligible for Medicare Advantage?
To enroll in Medicare Advantage, you must be enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B (or concurrently enroll in both parts).
You must also live in an area that has at least one insurance company offering a Medicare Advantage plan. Nearly all major metropolitan areas will have at least one Medicare Advantage plan available for their residents. However there are still some rural and remote areas that lack such cover.
Get a Free Medicare Supplement Quote
Sign Up with Medicare: Medigap Plans
This enrollment period does not apply to Medicare supplement (Medigap) plans.
These are only guaranteed-issue during your initial open enrollment period, when you first become eligible for Medicare, and during some limited special enrollment periods after that.
I know there’s a lot to take in when it comes to your Medicare benefits. That’s why it’s always good to have an experienced Medicare expert by your side to guide you through your options, and help you choose the one that best fits your needs.
Let’s get together and go over your choices! There’s no obligation Just click here and choose an appointment for a phone consult! It’s always free to you.
But don’t wait until the last minute! Our calendar fills up fast this time of year. I’m projecting we’ll be fully booked as we get into the thick of Open Enrollment.
Here are some additional articles on Medicare: Medicare Costs 2023 Guide: Premiums, Deductibles, and Out-of-Pocket Expenses | Medicare Fraud: Protecting Yourself from Medicare Scammers [5 Tips]
Here are some additional pages related to this article: medicare.gov/basics | Medicare Annual Election Period Information
Lou Spatafore works for MediGap Advisors. As a PBM, his focus is to help people find the best Medicare plan for his clients. Read my full Bio.