Let’s start with the WHAT: What is the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period (MAOEP)?
The Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period (MAOEP) is designed specifically for individuals that currently have a Medicare Advantage Plan and wish to make a one-time change to their plan.
If you do not have a Medicare Advantage Plan, this Medicare enrollment period does not apply to you.
The MAOEP is commonly confused with the Medicare Open Enrollment period and Annual Enrollment Period. So, hang tight while we do our best to help uncomplicate matters.
Important Dates: When is the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period?
Easy! As of 2019, the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period is open annually from January 1-March 31. During this time, eligible beneficiaries can make plan changes. The Medicare enrollment deadline is March 31.
Eligibility: Who is eligible for the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period?
To be eligible for this Open Enrollment Period, you must currently have an active Medicare Advantage plan.
If you do not have a Medicare Advantage Plan, you still may still be eligible for specific plan changes. Just give us a call, 866-MEDIGAP (633-4427) and together, we can help determine eligibility. It take less than 5 minutes to find out what Medicare Enrollment Period you are eligible for.
The Medicare Advantage Open enrollment period is not designed for people with a standalone Medicare Part D plan (Prescription Drug Coverage) to make standalone Medicare Part D plan changes.
What Plan Changes Can You Make During the MAOEP?
During the Open Enrollment for Medicare Advantage Plans, you can make one of the following coverage changes to your current coverage:
- Replace your current Medicare Advantage Plan with another Medicare Advantage Plan
- Cancel your current Medicare Advantage Plan and go back to Original Medicare Only
- Cancel your current Medicare Advantage Plan and go back to Original Medicare + Part D Plan (Drug Coverage)
- Drop your Medicare Advantage Plan and go back to Original Medicare. Enroll in a Medicare Supplement Plan (Medigap Plan) + Part D Plan (Drug Coverage)
Why should I consider changing plans during this Medicare Open Enrollment?
Most beneficiaries that contact us from January 1- March 31 are typically flustered by:
- Plan not performing as intended
- High drug prices
- Doctor no longer taking the plan
- Buyer remorse (From plan change during the Annual Enrollment Period)
It’s our job to help Medicare beneficiaries understand that this is an additional open enrollment that Medicare offer.
If you’re not happy, give us a call and we can determine if you are eligible to make any plan changes. The Medicare enrollment deadline is March 31, so call today! 866-MEDIGAP (633-4427).
What we hear from our clients about Medicare Enrollment Periods
When can I change my Medicare Supplement Plan and enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan?
Unless you have a special enrollment period, or a trial right enrollment, the only time you can replace your Medicare Supplement Plan for a Medicare Advantage Plan is during the Annual Enrollment Period (aka Annual Election Period), which runs every year from October 15th-December 7th. Read more about your free Medicare benefits review.
Can I change my Medicare Drug Plan during the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment?
No. The MAOEP only allows you to drop a Medicare Advantage Plan to enroll in a drug plan. In other words, if you have a stand-alone drug plan and would like to make a change, you must do so during the Annual Enrollment Period (unless qualify for a special enrollment period).
Both Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage plans have a contract renewal period that runs from the time of your enrollment-December 31 (annual contracts).
I just changed plans during the Annual Enrollment Period (between October 15 and December 7), do I need to change plans again?
Not necessarily. We don’t encourage changing plans unless we see a reason and benefit to our client. There’s nothing wrong with keeping a plan that works well for you.
The worst thing you can do is become complacent and begin not to compare plans each year, or enrollment period.
Unlike your auto or home insurance, health insurance cost and networks can change as frequently as every year. This is where the team at Senior HealthCare Solutions becomes helpful; just one call to compare over 25 carriers and get peace of mind knowing the plan you have is the most suitable option or not.
Why does Medicare have so many open enrollment periods?
We agree, there are a lot of Medicare enrollment periods. It’s confusing to make heads or tails of which enrollment period impacts you or if you’re even eligible to make plan changes.
The good news is that Medicare provides those opportunities to make plan changes more than once per year. All you need to do is schedule an appointment with the Senior HealthCare Solutions team and we can help determine your Medicare Enrollment Eligibility.
When is the Medicare Open Enrollment?
The Medicare Open Enrollment Period is technically the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (or Medicare Annual Open Enrollment).
Some get this Annual Open Enrollment Period confused for the Medigap Open Enrollment, the Initial Enrollment Period, the General Enrollment Period and even the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period.
We’ve even been asked “when is Medicare open enrollment?”
The Medicare Open Enrollment (aka Annual Enrollment Period) runs every year from October 15th-December 7th. During this time, anyone with a Medicare plan can make changes. If you have a Medicare Supplement, you can change to a Medicare Advantage plan (and vice versa).
You can also change your Medicare Part D Plan. If you are changing Medicare Supplement Plans, you will likely be required to answer medical questions to qualify.
Can I change my Medicare Supplement Plan during the Medicare Advantage Plan Open Enrollment Period?
Yes. But, remember this little secret, if you have a Medicare Supplement Plan (Medigap Plan), you can change to another Medicare Supplement anytime throughout the year anyway (you don’t need a particular Medicare enrollment period).
We’ve been helping Medicare beneficiaries since 2014, we’re here to help you too.
Click here to schedule an appointment or call us now (866-MEDIGAP) and one of our friendly team members will inform you more about Medicare Enrollment Periods and your eligibility to change plans.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Can a Medicare Advantage plan deny enrollment?
Yes, but not due to pre-existing conditions. You will only be denied a Medicare Advantage plan if you don’t meet plan requirements
- Eligible for and/or enrolled in Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B
- Applying for coverage during the right enrollment period
Fun Fact: In 2019, Medicare Advantage Plans starting accepting coverage for those with ESRD (end stage renal disease). Prior to 2019, you could have been declined for coverage due to ESRD.
Can I change my Medicare Advantage plan to a different Medicare Advantage during open enrollment?
You can change your Medicare Advantage Plan during the Annual Enrollment Period and the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period.
The AEP runs every year from October 15-December 7th and the MAOEP runs every year from January 1-March 31.
Your new coverage will always begin on the first day of the month.
What is the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period?
The Medicare annual enrollment period runs every year from October 15th through December 7th. During that time, anyone that is currently enrolled in a Medicare health plan, such as a Medicare supplement, Medicare Advantage or prescription drug plan, can make plan changes.
What is the Medicare General Enrollment Period?
The Medicare general enrollment period runs every year from January 1st to March 31st. This Medicare enrollment gives individuals the opportunity to enroll in Medicare Part B that have previously missed their eligibility periods to enroll for Medicare Part B.
When you apply for Medicare Part B during the general enrollment period, your Medicare Part B coverage starts July 1st. You will also need to enroll in a separate Medicare health plan, such as a Medicare supplement or Medicare Advantage program. If you choose a Medicare supplement plan, it’s highly recommended to enroll in a standalone prescription drug plan.
In most cases, if you are enrolling in Medicare Part B during the general enrollment period, you can expect to pay a higher premium for your Medicare Part B. This is likely due to the penalty that Medicare applied for not enrolling when you were first eligible.
There are also cases of you paying a higher premium for Medicare Part B based on your income.
When is Open Enrollment for Medicare?
The Open Enrolment for Medicare is from January 1-March 31. The Medicare Open Enrolment period is technically the Medicare General Enrollment Period and allows individuals to enroll in Medicare Part B.
What is the difference between OEP and AEP?
The difference between OEP and AEP is that AEP only happens once per year and is available to any Medicare beneficiary and will allow them to make any plan change.
On the other hand, there are several Medicare OEP’s, and those OEP’s may only be available to certain Medicare beneficiaries, depending on their Medicare health plan selection.
So, what does all that mean? The AEP is the Medicare annual enrollment period and runs from October 15th through December 7th. It does not matter if you have a Medicare Advantage plan, a Medicare supplement plan or just original Medicare. You can make plan changes or enroll in a different Medicare health plan.
Whereas, there are several types of Medicare OEP’s (Open Enrollment Periods). One type of Medicare Open Enrollment Period would be the Medigap Open Enrollment Period, which guarantees the coverage for those specific individuals choosing to enroll in a Medigap plan. Outside of the Medigap Open Enrollment, individuals may have to answer medical questions to qualify for coverage.
Another type of Medicare Open enrollment period is the Medicare Advantage open enrollment period, which runs from January 1st to March 31st. During this time. Only those individuals that have a Medicare Advantage plan can make any kind of plan changes.
If you have a Medicare Advantage plan, you can change to a Medicare Advantage plan. You can also drop your Medicare Advantage plan and go back to original Medicare only. Or you can drop your Medicare Advantage plan, go back to original Medicare and add a Medicare supplement with a Medicare drug plan.
If you’re still confused, that’s OK. Give us a call at 866-MEDIGAP (633-4427) and one of our friendly team members will be happy to determine your eligibility for any one of the Medicare Open Enrollment Periods.
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When is the Medigap Open Enrollment Period?
The Medigap open enrollment period starts when your Medicare Part B starts. This is one of the best times to enroll and secure coverage for a Medigap supplement plan, as your coverage is guaranteed, and you cannot be declined coverage due to pre-existing conditions.
You will also be able to choose from any of the Medigap Plans in your area. Whereas, in most cases, if you choose to change or enroll in a Medigap supplement plan after your Medigap open enrollment period, you will likely have to answer medical questions to qualify for coverage, and you could be denied insurance.
When is the Medicare Part D Open Enrollment?
The Medicare Part D Open enrollment period starts when your Medicare Part A starts. You do not need to be eligible for or enrolled in Medicare Part B to enroll in Medicare Part D.
After your Medicare Part D Open enrollment period, the most common time to change your Medicare Part D plan would be during the annual enrollment period, which runs from October 15th through December 7th.
Otherwise, you can make a Part D plan change if you are eligible for a Medicare special enrollment. There are many special enrollment periods, such as, losing creditable insurance or if your current plan is being terminated or you’ve moved out of the plans service area. The best thing to do is give our team a call. We’ll take a few minutes to see if you’re eligible for any special enrollment periods and make any plan changes applicable.
What is the IEP (Initial Election Period)
The IEP is when you are new to Medicare (turning 65). This enrollment is a seven-month period that begins 3 months prior to your 65th, the month of and 3 months after your 65th birthday and provides the opportunity to compare and choose your Medicare coverage options; a Medicare Supplement + Part D or a Medicare Advantage Plan.
Do I qualify for any Special Enrollment Periods (Special Election Period)?
The best thing you can do to know if you are eligible for a Medicare special enrollment period is schedule an appointment or give our team a call (866-MEDIGAP).
There are several Medicare special enrollment periods and depending on your special circumstances, you may be eligible to change plans. The most common special enrollment periods are losing credible insurance or moving out of your planned service area.
Another common special enrollment period is having a change in your Medicaid eligibility. Whether you’ve had Medicaid and are losing Medicaid or if you’re newly eligible for Medicaid, you can qualify for a Medicare special enrollment.
Can you switch back and forth between Medicare and Medicare Advantage?
Yes. Depending on your circumstance, you may be eligible to change more than once per year.
Medicare beneficiaries on a Medicare Advantage plan are mostly familiar with the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP).
The big secret, though, is that if you have a Medicare Advantage plan, you may also be able to make plan changes during the Medicare Open enrollment period, which runs from January 1st through March 31st.
For those on Medicaid and Medicare (dual-eligible), you can make changes to your Medicare Advantage plan once per quarter from January-September. You can then use the last quarter of the year, which is the annual enrollment period to make a plan change, If you needed to do so.