Medicare Advantage Annual Dis-enrollment Period – What It Allows

Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period Allows Part D ChangeCancel your Advantage Plan during the Medicare Advantage Annual Dis-enrollment Period and choose a New Part D Plan

The time to enroll in or switch a Medicare Part D or Medicare Advantage Plan is during the Annual Enrollment Period. An application for plans with an effective date of 2013 can be submitted beginning October 15th through December 7th.

The importance of choosing the right plan is highlighted by the fact that like-to-like plan switches after January 1 are no longer allowable. There is now a new Annual Dis-enrollment Period allowing people who enrolled in an Advantage plan to cancel their plan and return to original Medicare.

The Annual Dis-enrollment Period is only for people people who would like  to cancel their Medicare Advantage Plan membership. People who would like to change their stand-alone Part D plan are out of luck. No such option is allowed.

 

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 Less choice could mean more hardship

Never has choosing the right Part D Plan been more important. In years past, if you enrolled in a Part D plan during the Annual Enrollment Period you could switch plans in the first three months of the year. Now you will not be able to change Part D plans and will be locked in until the following year unless you have a Special Enrollment Period available due to some change of status.


People who enrolled in an Advantage Plan will have a little more flexibility. The Annual Dis-enrollment Period begins January 1st and ends February 14th. That’s a 45 day window to cancel a Medicare Advantage Plan. If your plan included drug coverage you will be able to enroll in a new stand-alone Part D Plan.

Dis-enrolling from an Advantage Plan will return you to original Medicare. You have the option to take your chances with original Medicare with the cost-sharing involved or purchase a Medicare Supplement Policy. You will not be allowed to enroll in another Medicare Advantage Plan until next year’s Annual Enrollment Period.

With all the hype about changes to Medicare you have to wonder how many people are unaware of the fact that the opportunity to change Part D Plans after December 7th has been virtually eliminated. There is less opportunity than years past for people enrolled in Medicare Advantage to change, but at least they will have an Annual Dis-enrollment Period to cancel their Medicare Advantage and enroll in a stand-alone Part D plan.

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