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Open enrollment for Medicare Advantage plans ended on Dec. 7, just like it does every year. Does that mean you have to wait until Oct. 15, the beginning of the next open enrollment period, to change your plan? Not necessarily.
There are some special circumstances where changes can be made outside open enrollment. Here are 10 scenarios where you can still change your Medicare Advantage Plan after Dec. 7 and before Oct. 15.
1. You move to a new location
There are several ways that changing where you live can allow you to change your Medicare Advantage plan outside of the open enrollment period.
If you relocate to somewhere that isn’t in your current plan’s service area, you’re free to switch plans or convert to original Medicare. If you tell your current plan about your move in advance, you’ll have two months after your move to switch plans. If you tell your current plan of your new address after you move, you’ll have two months to switch from when you let the plan know.
Even if you move to a new address that’s in your current plan’s service area, you could potentially still change plans — but only if there are new plan options in your new location. Note, however, in this situation, you can change Medicare Advantage plans but you can’t switch to original Medicare. The time period in which you’re allowed to change plans are the same as if you had moved to an address not in your current plan’s service area.
What if you move back to the U.S. after living in another country? You can join a Medicare Advantage plan for two full months after the month you return to the U.S.
If you move into or out of a skilled nursing facility or long-term care hospital, you can also join a new Medicare Advantage plan. You can make changes as long as you live in the institution and for two full months after the month you leave.
If you were in jail and are released, you can join a Medicare Advantage plan. Your window for enrolling extends for two months after the month you’re released from jail.
2. You lose your current coverage
If you’re no longer eligible for Medicaid, you can change Medicare Advantage plans or enroll in one if you had not already done so. You could also switch to original Medicare. Changes can be made for two months after the month you find out you’ve lost Medicaid eligibility. If you lose coverage for the next year, you must make any changes between Jan. 1 and March 31.
If you drop coverage from an employer or union plan (including COBRA) or from a Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) plan, you have two months after the month your coverage ends to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan.
If you involuntarily lose other drug coverage that’s as good as Medicare drug coverage or your current drug coverage is no longer “creditable” (equivalent to Medicare drug coverage), you can either join a Medicare Advantage plan with drug coverage or enroll in a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan. The window for enrolling is two months after the month you lose your coverage or when you find out your drug coverage is no longer creditable, whichever is later.
3. You have an opportunity to get other coverage
If you have the chance to enroll in coverage from your employer, your union, or PACE, you can drop your current Medicare Advantage plan at any time during the year to go to the new coverage.
(To Be Continued)
To Select right Medicare Supplement, Medicare Advantage or Medicare Prescription Drug Plan contact Sudhir Mathuria @ 713-771-2900.