For those already on Medicare, Open Enrollment is the time every year where you are allowed to change from one Medicare Advantage plan to another, change your Prescription drug plan, or go from a Medicare Advantage plan back to Original Medicare and a Prescription drug plan and a Medicare Supplement plan, or, go from Original Medicare with a prescription drug plan and a Medicare Supplement plan to a Medicare Advantage plan.
This last option is what I am seeing more and more of during the Open Enrollment season which starts October 1st (applications can’t be taken until October 15th however) and ends December 7th, with the changes taking effect on January 1st.
There is no underwriting for Medicare, Medicare Advantage and Prescription drug plans. Everyone is guaranteed issue because of the fact that Medicare is government sponsored not private insurance, and while Medicare Advantage and Prescription drug plans are offered by private insurance companies, they are subsidized by the Federal Government. There are also circumstances where Medicare Supplement plans can be guaranteed issue as well, they are NOT subsidized so this is more of a case to case scenario.
Medicare Advantage plan networks are growing. Many people have been paying a monthly premium for their Medicare Supplement plan and Prescription drug plan, not realizing that all of their doctors are in the same specific medical network that contracts with an insurance company offering Medicare Advantage plans that include prescription drug coverage at a zero monthly premium.
Your chosen doctors and prescriptions play a big part in making any changes during Open Enrollment. Using an experienced insurance broker with a focus on Medicare plans, such as myself, is the key to making changes without making painful or costly mistakes. I’m paid by the insurance companies I represent, so my services are always free.
If you’d like to review your options for 2018, it’s important to contact me to schedule your appointment before my schedule books up, and it does, every year during Medicare Open Enrollment.