4 Things to Know About the Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period - Mature Health Center

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Originally published December 27, 2016, last updated January 4, 2017

4 Things to Know About the Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period

Happy New Year! A new year often marks new beginnings, and that’s also the case for some Medicare beneficiaries who may be unhappy with their plans.

Jan. 1 through Feb. 14 is the annual Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period. As the name implies, this is only for people with Medicare Advantage plans, including those who have Medicare Advantage plans that include prescription drug coverage, called MA-PD plans.

If that’s you, the Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period is when you can disenroll from a Medicare Advantage plan and then get your Medicare Part A and Part B through Original Medicare. But there are some important things to know before you disenroll:

  1. If you choose to disenroll from the MA-PD plan and do nothing else, you will have Original Medicare only and not have prescription drug coverage. 
  2. You may want to add a Medicare Supplement (also called “Medigap”) health insurance plan to cover health care costs that Original Medicare doesn’t cover, but if you do, you may be subject to underwriting. This means you could pay a higher premium, have a waiting period or be denied coverage. 
  3. You will need to review, shop and purchase a standalone prescription drug plan in order to replace the prescription coverage you had under your MA-PD plan. Medicare Part D has a penalty if you go without prescription drug coverage for longer than 63 days in a row, and it can be costly. So if you disenroll from a MA-PD plan, don’t delay in finding a replacement prescription drug plan.
  4. Enrollment needs to be completed by Feb. 14.

Should you decide to disenroll, the disenrollment from your Medicare Advantage plan goes into effect the first of the month after you make the request.

If you have any questions or are considering disenrolling, call the Licensed Insurance Agents at Medicare MarketPlace® at 1-800-639-0781. They can help you explore your other options, avoid common and often costly mistakes people can make when disenrolling, and see if a Medicare Supplement health insurance plan and prescription drug plan could be a better fit.

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