Medicare Open Enrollment: 5 Things You Need To Know
Medicare open enrollment begins on October 15th, and ends December 7th.
The open enrollment period gives you a chance to change your current Medicare plan to a better one that suits your needs.
Continue reading to learn everything you need to know about Open Enrollment.
In this guide, we will cover:
- Who is eligible to apply
- Open Enrollment dates
- How to apply
- What to do if you miss the deadline
What is Open Enrollment?
The Medicare open enrollment period, also known as the annual election period, refers to a period each year during which people enrolled in Medicare plans re-evaluate and change their health insurance coverage plans.
Whether you are in enrollment in the original Medicare supplement plans, or the Medicare Advantage plan, you are allowed to make changes during the healthcare open registration.
When the Open Enrollment period is ongoing, you as a beneficiary can perform the following things:
- Make a change in the Medicare Advantage plans or switch from the Medicare Advantage plans to the original Medicare plan and vice versa.
- Sign up for the Medicare Part D prescription drug plan. Private insurance companies provide the Medicare Part D prescription drug plan (MAPD) because Medicare A and B do not cover outpatient prescriptions.
- Make a switch from one Part D plan to another. There are two general options for the Medicare Part D plan. You can choose either the Medicare part D prescription drug program (PDP) through a private carrier, thereby supplementing the original Medicare. Alternatively, you can enroll in the prescription drug coverage as part of a Medicare advantage plan.
- Drop the Medicare Part D coverage in its entirety and return to the original Medicare plan.
Open Enrollment does not include Medigap
Open Enrollment is not applicable to Medigap plans. Medigap plans is Medicare supplement insurance purchased by Medicare beneficiaries to cover expenses such as co-payments, co-insurances and deductibles.
Medigap is enrolled for when beneficiaries learn that the original Medicare plan may not cover all of their expenses.
The Medigap plans are issued in most states during the beneficiary's first enrollment period, and special enrollment periods.
Who is Open Enrollment For?
Any person who has Medicare coverage is qualified to take part in the open enrollment process. It is the moment when you are allowed to make changes to your Medicare plans to suit your healthcare needs.
For example, you can join a new Medicare Advantage plan or a stand-alone prescription drug plan (part D). You can also switch between the original Medicare with a Part D plan and Medicare Advantage.
When Does Medicare Open Enrollment Begin and End?
The annual Medicare Open Enrollment dates are usually between October 15th and December 7th.
For coverage in 2020, the open enrollment period will run from October 15th and December 7th 2019. You can choose to make changes to your Medicare coverage during this period.
MedicarePlan65 makes it easy for people to find Supplemental Medicare plans by connecting them with the best provider in their area.
What to do if You Miss the Open Enrollment Deadline
Are you worried that you may miss the Open enrollment deadline? Here is what to do when you find yourself in such a scenario:
You can make the changes during the Medicare Advantage Dis-enrollment Period.
Depending on what you wanted to do during the open enrollment period; you are still able to accomplish a few things during the Medicare Advantage Dis-enrollment Period. The dis-enrollment period runs from January 1st to February 14th of the following year.
In this period, you can:
- Sign up for a stand-alone prescription drug plan.
- Make the switch from a Medicare Advantage Plan to the original Medicare Plan. (In this case, you could lose some of your benefits. For example, you will no longer have a cap on the extra expenses for Medicare-approved healthcare costs.)
Medigap Plan Open Enrollment Period
Switching from the original Medicare to Medicare Advantage plans is only possible during the open enrollment period. You may find a Medigap plan that offers the coverage that you need for a temporary period as you wait for the next Open Enrollment period.
Confirm if you qualify for a special needs plan
Special Needs plans are available through Medicare Advantage plans meant for people with particular health conditions. They include chronic heart failure, chronic alcohol or drug addiction, Diabetes Mellitus, HIV/AIDS and end-stage renal disease needing dialysis.
If you have any of these conditions, then you can enroll in a special needs plan through the Medicare website. You can also mail the paper application.
How to Apply During Open Enrollment
Applying for changes to your Medicare coverage is not difficult. Whether you want to shift from a Medicare Advantage plan to the original Medicare plan and vice versa, we can help you complete the process.
When you call our number, we connect you to Medicare coverage providers within your area. These providers will advise you on the best option to take to meet all your needs.
Once you have decided on the Medicare plan, you are going to make changes to, and then you can fill the form on our website.
Provide only the necessary details; then, we will identify the appropriate Medicare plan provider in your region to guide you. During the Healthcare open enrollment period, you can use the Medicare Plan Finder to compare the plans available based on the prescriptions that you take.
To help you find a suitable plan the Medicare's plan finder tool requires your ZIP Code, Medicare Number and, the effective date for Part A coverage.
Most beneficiaries usually find this process overwhelming, so if you feel the same way, then know that you are not alone.
MedicarePlan65.com makes the shopping process easy by connecting you to the best plan providers in your area.
We make it easy to apply for a healthcare plan during the open enrollment period.
Instead of struggling to decide the best plan on your own, you need to use the Medicare plan finder tool. You can contact us to connect with a reputable plan provider in your area.
Get all the information concerning your plan
By connecting you to the best plan providers in your ZIP, you will get access to every information available about the plans you intend to switch. It allows you to make the best decision about your healthcare.