Monday, January 30, 2012

Medicare Annual Disenrollment Period 2012

Question:  Is the Medicare Annual Disenrollment Period (January 1 through February 14, 2012) the only time one can drop the Advantage plan? I mean, jobs run out or situations change meaning less money during the year. What if you can’t afford it any longer in the middle of the year?? Thanks.

Answer:  During the period of Jan. 1 to Feb. 14, an existing Medicare Advantage member can dis-enroll from their Medicare Advantage plan and go back to original Medicare and a standalone part D plan if they do not have other creditable coverage (meaning Rx coverage at least as good as the standard Part D plan offered by Medicare). Medicare Annual Enrollment (October 15 through December 7) is also a time you may make changes to Medicare Advantage and Part D plans.

The situation you refer to of change in finances could fall under a Special Election Period (SEP) that would offer extra help to pay premiums and would allow the member to make changes. Special Election Periods are available for people who qualify for extra help; who move to or are in a nursing home; who move out of a service area or who lose other coverage. 

It’s a good idea to confirm and never assume your situation qualifies for an SEP. The more you know the more options you have.

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