The Open Enrollment period for Medicare Advantage Plans and Medicare Prescription Drug Plans began October 15th and ends December 7th. This is important if you are currently enrolled in “Original” Medicare Parts A and B and want to change to a Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C) and/or enroll in a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (Part D). It is also the time for changing your existing Medicare Advantage Plan and/ or Medicare Prescription Drug Plan.
What is a Medicare Advantage Plan?
Medicare Advantage Plans are plans offered by private insurance companies to provide the benefits paid under Medicare Parts A and B. There are a number of different plans, and they may utilize HMOs or PPOs to provide coverage through physician networks. Most Medicare Advantage plans include coverage for prescription drugs.
What does a Medicare Advantage Plan cost?
You will typically pay the Part B premium, which for most people is $104.90 for 2015. The Plan may or may not charge an additional premium. There may be other costs, such as deductibles, copayments or charges for using out of network providers that should be considered when selecting a plan.
When can I sign up for a plan?
You can sign up for a Medicare Advantage Plan and/or a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan when you first become eligible for Medicare. You can also sign up for a Medicare Advantage Plan and/or a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan, or change plans during the Open Enrollment period between October 15th and December 7th.
Can I make changes outside the Open Enrollment period?
There is a Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period, which begins January 1, 2016 and ends February 14, 2016. During this period, you can leave your Medicare Advantage Plan and switch to Original Medicare. If you make that switch, you have until February 14, 2016 to enroll in a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan. Prescription drug coverage will be effective the first of the month after the application was received. During this period, you can’t switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage Plan, switch from one Medicare Advantage Plan to another, or switch from on Medicare Prescription Drug Plan to another.
For more information, go to www.medicare.gov.