When and how to change your Medicare plans? This FAQ answers common questions on the topic.
Can I change my Medicare plan(s) whenever I like?
You can only make changes to your plans during certain time periods.
Barring Special Enrollment Periods (SEPs), Medicare enrollees are allowed to make changes to their plans during the Annual Election Period (AEP) which runs Oct 15th – Dec 7th every year. MA Plans may also be changed during the new MA OEP (Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period) during Jan 1st - Mar 31st each year.
Can I change from Medicare Parts A & B to Medicare Advantage (MA)? How and when?
Can I change from Medicare Advantage (MA) to Medicare Parts A & B? How and when?
You can switch from MA to Medicare Parts A & B during the Annual Election Period (AEP) or during the new Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period (MA OEP) which replaces the earlier Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period (MADP) or during a Special Enrollment Period if you are eligible for one.
The new MA OEP runs Jan 1st - Mar 31st every year, during which you can switch from a Medicare Advantage Plan to another MA Plan (with or without included prescription drug coverage) or to Medicare Parts A & B (with or without a stand-alone prescription drug plan).
What about Part D (prescription drugs) plans? Can I switch to another Part D plan?
You can make the desired changes during the Annual Election Period (Oct 15th – Dec 7th).
My Part D plan changed its drug coverage. Can I switch to another plan?
Any changes to a Part D plan’s formulary should not affect you till the beginning of next year. Changes do not take effect during the plan year except when
Can I change from one Medicare Supplement plan to another? How and when?
The best time to enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan is within the first six months of your turning 65. During this period (aka Open Enrollment Period or OEP for Medicare Supplement) you have guaranteed issue rights for Medicare Supplement plans. If you have a serious health condition, this is probably the best time for you to take advantage of Medicare Supplement benefits. This also applies if you are eligible for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP).
Outside of above enrollment periods, any changes or enrollment into Medicare Supplement plans may not have guaranteed issue rights and Carriers may either deny coverage or charge a higher premium based on your health. Rules vary by State.
Can I change/drop additional benefits like dental, vision or hearing coverage anytime I want?
If the additional benefits like dental, vision or hearing coverage are an integral part of the plan, you cannot change or drop those benefits without dropping the entire plan.
However, if the additional benefits are structured as opt-in benefits which you can tack on to your plan anytime you want, you may be able to drop them without dropping the entire plan. Carriers may impose limitations and exclusions on opt-ins to avoid misuse.
Click here to learn more about Medicare, its various Parts, different enrollment periods and your costs.
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Remember that you cannot choose just any combination of Parts and Plans. Let Lighted Road Insurance guide you step-by-step through the Medicare ecosystem and help you in selecting the right plan(s) for your needs.
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Last Updated: 08-09-2019