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What is the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period?

The Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period runs from January 1 to March 31 each year.  If you’re enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan which usually consist of HMO’s and PPO’s, you may switch to a different Medicare Advantage Plan or switch to Original Medicare and an independent Part D drug plan. You can only make this switch once during this time frame. 

You might ask “I just signed up for a new Medicare Advantage plan during the Annual Enrollment Period back last November, why would I change anything now?” Let me give you an example.

I just received a phone call from a client who I helped enroll in a Medicare HMO last October 2020 when the AEP had just started. The appointment started out as an educational meeting of the differences between Medicare Advantage plans and Original Medicare.

husband and wife discuss health coverage

When I first meet a new client, I like to educate them on the differences so they can make an informed decision. When I answered all her questions and concerns and explained the differences, she decided Medicare Advantage was the way to go for her. She liked that plan had a low monthly premium and did not mind the copays associated with the plan. Over the next month or so she gave me three of her friends as referrals.

After each meeting with those folks, they all decided Original Medicare was best along with a Medigap plan. Long story shot my client who referred her friends felt she may have made a mistake because all her friends went in a different direction. We then had another meeting to go over the differences and this time she saw things a little differently and wanted to be insured by Original Medicare along with a Medigap plan. Because it was January, the first month into the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period she was able to make the switch back. 

Another example could be that you felt you picked the wrong Advantage plan and want to change to another Advantage plan or carrier. It could be that you either want an HMO or PPO. I will make a very important suggestion, and that is if you do switch back to Original Medicare, you should purchase a Medigap plan and a Part D prescription plan.

When you have Original Medicare, you are basically covered for about 80% of hospital and medical benefits. The other 20% could be very costly if you do not supplement it with a Medigap plan. There are many plans to choose from so it is important to speak with you BGA Insurance agent so you can get clarification on each plan.

You also need to remember that the Medicare Advantage plan you purchased has the prescription drug benefit built into the plan. If you switch back to Original Medicare, you will lose that drug benefit. Therefore, you would need to sign up for a new Part D prescription that your BGA agent will also assist you with enrolling. 

Being a client with BGA Insurance Group has a lot of benefits, and the biggest benefit is “information”. We will always bring information to you. 

We are always up to date with any of the latest news, pricing, Medicare changes and enrollment periods. 

We are licensed to assist seniors in the following states:

  • Pennsylvania
  • New Jersey
  • Delaware
  • Maryland
  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina
  • Florida
  • Texas
  • Arizona