In 2019, a new Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period will run from January 1st all the way to March 31st every year.
Finally, this is what everyone has been asking for! If you’re enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, you’ll have a one-time opportunity to switch to a different Medicare Advantage plan.
For example, if you have an Aetna HMO Advantage plan you can switch to an IBC HMO Advantage plan and vice versa.
You can drop your Medicare Advantage plan and return to Original Medicare, Part A and Part B coverage.
Some folks may be unhappy with their current coverage, for example maybe you don’t like being in a network and tired of paying copays every time you see a doctor; now you can switch to Original Medicare and purchase a Medigap plan and a Part D prescription plan.
You may have missed the Annual Enrollment Period, so this gives you another opportunity.
You can sign up for a stand-alone Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan if you return to Original Medicare. Most Medicare Advantage plans include prescription drug coverage already.
Usually you can’t enroll in a stand-alone Medicare Prescription Drug plan if you already have a Medicare Advantage plan, but there are some situations where you can. Just remember if you sign up for stand-alone drug plan it will automatically cancel out your Medicare Advantage Plan.
You can sign up anytime between January 1st and March 31st. If you sign up sometime during any of these months your new coverage will not start until the first day of the following month. For example, if you sign up for new coverage February 12th, it will be effective until March 1st.
There are many reasons why someone would want to change coverage and I mentioned a couple earlier. Sometimes folks are busy through the holiday season and just don’t take the time to review their coverage and miss an opportunity to see what else is out there to improve their coverage.
I receive numerous phone-calls each year asking me if it’s too late to make a change. Now there is no excuse to inquire.
Some folks have had the same Advantage plan for years and are paying a hefty monthly premium, they don’t realize the can get the same exact coverage for a much lower monthly premium.
This new enrollment period will give those folks another opportunity to make that change. I feel the biggest advantage to this new enrollment period will benefit those folks who are just not simply happy with an Advantage plan and want to switch to Original Medicare.
Unlike with Advantage plans Original Medicare has no networks, meaning you can see any doctor, specialist or hospital in the country who accepts Medicare.
I’ve been working in Medicare insurance for a lot of year and I can tell you I never met a doctor who doesn’t accept Medicare.
Original Medicare A & B as most people know cover about 80% of hospital and medical coverage.
Most Medigap plans have very little out of pocket expenses whereas most Medicare Advantage plans has you paying a copay for every service you use. Another benefit of Original Medicare is that you never need a referral to see a specialist.
With most Advantage plans you are required to get a referral from your primary doctor to see a specialist. This is a huge complaint that I hear from most people.
So, there are no excuses to complain that you couldn’t inquire or review your current health insurance because you now have 3 FULL months to do so and every BGA agent is ready, willing and able to assist you.
We cover almost all A rated carriers whether it is Medicare Advantage carrier, Medigap carrier or Part D prescription carrier. Call us so we can help.
We can assist seniors in the following states:
- New Jersey
- North Carolina
- South Carolina