Not happy with your Medicare Advantage plan? You have until Feb. 14 to make an adjustment.
The 2018 Medicare open enrollment period ended on Dec. 7, meaning many Medicare recipients have picked the plan they will stay enrolled in for the remainder of the year.
However, if you are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan and feel your plan is not meeting your needs, you still have an opportunity during the Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period (MADP), which began Jan. 1 and lasts until Feb. 14, to leave your Medicare Advantage plan and switch to Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Part B).
What patients can do during MADP
You must notify Medicare or your Medicare Advantage plan directly during MADP if you no longer want to be enrolled in the plan. This will result in your current plan’s coverage terminating at the end of the month you drop the plan. At that point, you will only have Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B, but will have the opportunity to enroll in a Medicare Prescription Drug plan until Feb. 14. If you enroll in a new prescription drug plan during this time, your coverage will start the first day of the month following enrollment. It is important to note that disenrollment from the Medicare Advantage plan and enrollment into a prescription drug plan should happen in the same month so there is no lapse in coverage.
Example: If John decides to leave his Medicare Advantage plan during MADP and notifies Medicare he no longer wants to be enrolled into his current plan on Jan. 29, his current coverage will end Jan. 31. If he waits to enroll in a new prescription drug plan until Feb. 4, his prescription coverage will not start until March 1 because the plan always starts the first day of the month following enrollment. This means that for the full month of Feb. John will not have prescription coverage. On the other hand, if he enrolls into a prescription drug plan Jan. 30, his Medicare Advantage plan will end Jan. 31 and his prescription drug plan will start Feb. 1 with no lapse in coverage.
What patients cannot do during MADP
During MADP patients are not able to do the following:
- Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan.
- Switch from one Medicare Advantage plan to another.
- Switch from a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan to another or join.
- Switch or drop a Medicare Medical Saving Account Plan.