People ask us all the time: Can I change my Medicare plan whenever I want? Unfortunately, it’s not that easy though you do have options.
Because our health needs change as we age, it’s important to be able to change your plan to cater to your unique needs. This can also include financial changes that might come up as you age, too.
Changing Your Medicare Advantage Plan
First, it’s important to note that you can’t change your plan at any time. There are specific periods of time where you can elect to make changes. Therefore, if you miss this period of time, you will need to wait an entire year until it reopens again.
When you first become eligible for Medicare Parts A and B, you can also enroll in Medicare Advantage during your Initial Election Period. This is a period of time 3 months before and 3 months after your birth month. After that, you can only change your Medicare Advantage Plan yearly from October 15-December 7th.
During this time, you can:
- Switch from Original Medicare to Medicare Advantage, or vice versa
- Join or drop a Medicare prescription drug plan
- Switch from Medicare Advantage plan with drug coverage to one without, or vice versa
- Update your coverage by switching to a new insurer
You must submit your application within this window. Your new Medicare Advantage plan will begin on January 1st.
The best way to find a plan is to work with a specialist like 100 Insure to compare plans and find the best ones for your area.
Changing Your Medigap Plan
You can apply to change your Medigap plan any time of year. There isn’t a deadline to change this plan. Many people get confused this time of year when they see all the marketing for Annual Election Period (AEP). However, the AEP only applies to Medicare Advantage plans and Part D drug plans. There is no annual election period that pertains to Medigap.
However, in most states, you will need to answer health questions in order to change your Medicare supplement plan.
Changing from Medigap to Medicare Advantage
You can select to change from Medigap to Medicare Advantage. This would be done during the annual fall election period which again runs from October 15th to December 7th. This period allows you to enroll in, change, or dis-enroll from Medicare Advantage plans. You must stay enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B, for these plans and you must live in the plan’s service area. There is only 1 health question on the Medicare Advantage plan application about End Stage Renal Disease.
Get help making changes to your Medicare plans. Contact a 100 Insure specialist today to help you compare plans, weigh your options and enroll.