What are your options if your Medicare Advantage plan is ending?

The recent Medicare Interactive post What are my options if my Medicare Advantage plan is ending at the end of the year? reviews the decision making process in the event your Medicare Advantage plan is ending.

Here are the major points:

  • By October 2, 2014, you should receive a letter from your Medicare Advantage plan if your plan is ending at the end of the year and will not be available next year.
  • Decide whether you want to sign up for another Medicare Advantage plan or change to Original Medicare.
    • If you want to join another Medicare Advantage plan
      • You can sign up for a new plan between October 15, 2014 and February 28, 2015. It is best to sign up for a new plan by December 31, 2014, so you can get coverage beginning January 1 of the next year.
      • Most Medicare Advantage plans include drug coverage.
    • If you want to enroll in Original Medicare
      • You will be automatically enrolled by December 31, 2014, if you don’t enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan as discussed above. Your Original Medicare coverage will begin on January 1, 2015.
      • From November 2, 2014 to March 4, 2015, you may sign up for a Medigap plan. Medigaps help pay for gaps in Original Medicare coverage. You can only have a Medigap if you have Original Medicare.  If you enroll in a Medigap plan before December 31, 2014, your coverage will begin on January 1, 2015.
  • Decide whether you need prescription drug coverage.  You can either sign up for a Medicare Advantage plan that offers drug coverage or sign up for a stand-alone prescription drug plan (Part D) that works with Original Medicare.
    • If you want to join a Medicare Advantage plan, sign up for one that offers prescription drug coverage (see above)
    • If you want to enroll in Original Medicare, sign up for a stand-alone Part D plan
      • Try to sign up for a Part D plan by December 31, 2014, so you can have drug coverage beginning January 1 of the next year. You technically have until February 28, 2015, to sign up for prescription drug coverage. However, if you wait until January or February to enroll in the new plan, your coverage will start the first of the month after you enroll.

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