Medicare’s annual Open Enrollment period ended on December 7. During this time, you had the opportunity to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, select a prescription drug policy, make changes to current plans, or dis-enroll in a plan that you no longer used or wanted. But what happens if you forgot to take advantage of this enrollment period, were too busy, or have changed your mind? Do you just have to wait until next Fall?
It can be difficult to make changes outside of the Open Enrollment period, but it isn’t impossible. The following few tips could help you solve your dilemma.
Investigate other prescription options. What if you’ve just discovered that your Medicare plan won’t be covering your prescription drugs next year? Or, perhaps you’ve developed a new condition and will be covered by your insurance policy.
Dis-enroll from January 1 to February 14. If you decide that your Medicare Advantage plan does not fit your needs, you can dis-enroll during the Medicare Annual Disenrollment Period (MADP). You can also add drug coverage during this time. Keep in mind, of course, that dis-enrolling in your Medicare Advantage plan means you could lose access to the network of providers who participate in that plan, as well as the cap on out-of-pocket spending that you currently enjoy.
See if you’re eligible for a Medicare Special Enrollment Period (SEP). In some cases, you can make changes to your Medicare coverage outside of the Annual Enrollment Period. During the SEP, you can make changes if:
- you have moved outside of your current plan’s service area
- you’ve become eligible for a low-income subsidy (due to loss of income)
- you live in, are moving into, or are moving out of certain types of skilled nursing facilities
- you receive a retroactive Medicare entitlement determination
- you lose prescription drug coverage through no action of your own
- and certain other conditions
Be proactive. If you missed the Annual Enrollment Period for Medicare, don’t just assume that you’re stuck with a plan that doesn’t work for you. Give us a call, and we can help you identify changes that you can still make to your policy.