Medicare Advantage “Do-Over” Window Will Soon Close
Medicare’s annual open enrollment period ended last month, but certain beneficiaries who regret their selection can get a do-over from now through mid-February. The Medicare Advantage disenrollment period runs from Jan. 1 through Feb. 14. During this time, beneficiaries in private Medicare Advantage plans can switch to Original Medicare and, if desired, select a Part D drug plan. This is the only move permitted: Those in Original Medicare can’t switch to Medicare Advantage and those already in Medicare Advantage can’t switch to a different Medicare Advantage plan. Unless those beneficiaries qualify for a special enrollment period, they will have to wait until the fall to make any changes to their coverage that will be effective at the start of 2018. The winter disenrollment period for Medicare Advantage may be easy to miss. It’s not accompanied by the same advertising blitz that characterizes the annual fall open enrollment, when the airwaves fill with commercials for Medicare Advantage and Part D drug plans. For those unhappy with their Medicare Advantage coverage, it’s an important chance to leave your plan, regardless of whether you enrolled years ago or during the recent open enrollment. (For tips on navigating Medicare in general, check out Money’s comprehensive guide.) Beneficiaries aren’t limited in the number of times they can take advantage of the Medicare Advantage disenrollment period during their lifetimes.
David Wingate is an elder law attorney at the Elder Law Office of David Wingate, LLC. The elder law office services clients with powers of attorneys, living wills, Wills, Trusts, Medicaid and asset protection. The Elder Law office has locations in Frederick and Montgomery Counties, Maryland.