Medicare Advantage Dis-enrollment Period


There are different ways that you can receive your Medicare coverage, or add onto that coverage. Medicare Advantage plans offer an alternative way to receive your Medicare benefits through a private, Medicare-approved insurance company. They must include all your Medicare Part A and Part B coverage, but may offer additional benefits not included in Original Medicare.

There are many different types of Medicare Advantage plans, as described below:

  • Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) require you to use health-care providers in a designated plan network and may require referrals from a primary care physician in order to see a specialist.

  • Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs) recommend the use of “preferred” health-care providers in an established network and these plans are likely to cover more of your medical costs if you stay inside that network. You don’t need a referral to see a specialist.

  • Private Fee-for-Service (PFFS) plans determine how much they will pay health-care providers and how much the beneficiary is responsible to cover out-of-pocket expenses.

  • Medical Savings Account (MSA) plans deposit money into a “health-care checking account”.

  • Special Needs Plans (SNP) are tailored health insurance plans designed for beneficiaries with certain health conditions.

Regardless of how an individual ends up in an MA plan, many enrollees soon realize that they have been enrolled in an MA plan and that enrollment in an MA plan is not in their best interests.

Dis-enrolling From an MA Plan

The Medicare Advantage Dis-enrollment Period (MADP) is January 1 through February 14 of every year. Changes that you make during the Medicare Advantage Dis-enrollment Period go into effect the first day of the following month. During the Medicare Advantage Dis-enrollment Period, you can make changes only if you have a Medicare private health plan.  With Medicare Advantage plans, you can add or drop drug coverage when switching to Original Medicare.

What can you do during this time?

I've always found it disconcerting that there is a designated time in which to dis-enroll from a Medicare Advantage plan.  Being a consumer this sets off red flags abound.  Its no secret I'm against the Medicare Advantage option for most seniors.  SO... if you are unhappy with your Medicare Advantage plan NOW is the time to ACT!

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