Senior Citizens Still Have Until February 14 to Switch from Medicare Advantage Plans
Changes is back to Original Medicare and drug plan rather than managed care
Feb. 9, 2011
Senior citizens that chose a Medicare Advantage Plan and have found it
is not a good fit for their needs, still have a chance to switch back to
Original Medicare. The Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period runs
until February 14.
These are the
options during the Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period, according to
the Medicare Rights Center
If you have:
● A Medicare
Advantage private health plan with prescription drug coverage, you can switch to Original Medicare plus a
prescription drug plan, OR Original Medicare without a prescription drug
● A Medicare
Advantage Private Fee-For-Service (PFFS) plan that does not include
prescription drug coverage and a stand-alone prescription drug plan,
you can switch to Original Medicare,
but you must keep your current prescription drug plan
Medicare or Original Medicare and a prescription drug plan, you cannot make any changes during this time
Medicare, the traditional fee-for-service program offered through the
federal government, covers most necessary services and is accepted by
most doctors and facilities across the country. However, it does not
cover the full cost of care. Many people who enroll in Original Medicare
choose to purchase supplemental coverage to help pay for out-of-pocket
costs such as deductibles and coinsurance.
disenroll from their Medicare private health plan should be aware that
they may have limited ability to buy coverage that supplements Original
State laws vary on when consumers can purchase Medicare supplemental
policies, also known as Medigaps.
Call your State
Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) to find out if and when you
can enroll in a Medigap plan in your state. You can find the number for
your local SHIP by visiting
or calling 800-MEDICARE.
disenroll from their private plan may need to join a stand-alone
Medicare prescription drug plan in order to maintain drug coverage.
Medicare Rights advises consumers who are choosing a plan to consider
not only premium and copayment costs, but also whether the drugs they
take are on the plans formulary (list of covered drugs).
also check to see whether the plan places any restrictions on the drugs
they take. Restrictions can take the form of quantity limits, prior
authorization and step therapy. To learn more about choosing a Medicare
prescription drug plan that best meets your needs, visit
Whichever way you
disenroll, your Original Medicare coverage and any Medicare drug
coverage you choose at this time will start the first day of the month
after you disenroll, according to Medicare. If you switch to Original Medicare and your
Medicare Advantage Plan included drug coverage, you have until February
14 to also join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan.
You can only make
limited changes during the Disenrollment Period. This isnt a time to
switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage Plan; switch from
one Medicare Advantage Plan to another; switch from one Medicare
Prescription Drug Plan to another; or join, switch, or drop a Medicare
Medical Savings Account Plan.
Consumers have had the
opportunity to drop their private plan and enroll in Original Medicare
since January 1, when the Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period (MADP)
began. After the MADP, most people with Medicare will be unable to make
another change to their health coverage until the Fall Open Enrollment
Period, which begins on October 15, 2011.
If you have
questions about choosing coverage, you can review your Medicare
Coverage Choices to help decide which coverage is right for you, or
get information about Medicare
Coverage Basics. If you still have questions, you can get free
personalized help by calling your State Health Insurance Assistance
advises consumers who wish to change their health coverage, and enroll
in a drug plan if necessary, to do so by calling 800-MEDICARE rather
than their plan. Changes made before the end of the MADP are effective
Learn more about
changing your Medicare private health plan, and evaluate your coverage
Find the number
for your local State Health
Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP)
Find answers to
Medicare questions at Medicare
the Medicare Rights Centers free counseling tool.
from your private plan and enroll in a stand-alone prescription if
necessary, call 800-MEDICARE.
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