If you enrolled in one of the Medicare Advantage Plans between November 15 and December 31 in previous years, you could still make changes between January 1 and March 31 in the next year. New rules have drastically changed that chance to “rethink” your plan.
In 2011, you only have from January 1 through February 14 to disenroll from your Medicare Advantage Plan and enroll in Original Medicare. In previous years, you were allowed to switch from one Medicare Advantage Plan to another one, but that alternative is gone.
Medicare Advantage Plans have different rules so you have to investigate each one separately. Medicare Advantage Plans may restrict which doctors and hospitals you can use for non-emergency care and non-urgent care. In addition, you may need a referral to see a specialist.
Now that government subsidies to Medicare Advantage Plans are largely frozen, some Medicare Advantage Plans are expected to raise premiums to make up for lost government subsidies. With fewer chances to change your mind, it’s more important than ever to know your Medicare Advantage Plan before you buy. You can learn more about Medicare Advantage Plans on our website at http://www.MediGapAdvisors.com

Wiley Long is founder and president of Medigap Advisors, and is passionate about helping people navigate the confusing waters of Medicare. He is the author of The Medicare Playbook: Designing Your Successful Health Coverage Strategy, a clear and simple explanation so you can make the most of your Medicare coverage.