Take Advantage of Disenrollment & Special Enrollment Periods for Medicare Advantage
As we begin the New Year, SHIIP, the Seniors’ Health Insurance Information Program, wants to remind North Carolinians about two special enrollment periods for people who have Medicare Advantage plans. The Medicare Advantage Disenrollment period runs from Jan. 1 through Feb. 14, 2014. The Medicare Advantage Special Enrollment Period began on Dec. 8, 2013, and ends on Feb. 28, 2014.
Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period
Jan. 1 to Feb. 14 marks the annual Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period. During this time Medicare beneficiaries who are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan may leave their plan and return to Original Medicare.
What can you do?
- If you currently have a Medicare Advantage Plan, you can leave your plan and switch to Original Medicare.
- If you switch to Original Medicare during this period, you have until Feb. 14 to join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan to add drug coverage to your benefits. Your prescription drug coverage will begin the first day of the month after the drug plan receives your enrollment form.
What can’t you do?
- Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage Plan
- Switch from one Medicare Advantage Plan to another
- Switch from one Medicare Prescription Drug Plan to another
Medicare Advantage Special Enrollment Period
If your 2013 Medicare Advantage Plan did not renew its contract in your area or reduced its service area for 2014, then you have a Medicare Advantage Special Enrollment Period that began Dec. 8, 2013, and runs through Feb. 28, 2014. Enrollments received in January will have an effective date of Feb.1, and those received in February will have an effective date of March 1, 2014.
What can you do?
- Join another Medicare Advantage Plan in your service area
- If you did not enroll in another Medicare Advantage Plan by Dec. 31, you were automatically enrolled in Original Medicare and need to select a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan now.
If you have any questions about Medicare, contact SHIIP at 1-800-443-9354 or visit our website at www.ncshiip.com. SHIIP is a division of the North Carolina Department of Insurance that assists people with questions about Medicare, Medicare Part D, Medicare supplements, Medicare Advantage and long term care insurance. The help from SHIIP is free, and in-person counseling is available in all 100 counties of North Carolina.
You can contact a certified SHIIP Volunteer Counselor in the community by calling N.C. Cooperative Extension, Stanly County Center – 704-983-3987 to make your appointment. January 28 is the next day for Medicare appointments at the Extension office.
Article provided by Kerry Hall of the Seniors Health Insurance Information Program.