If your Medicare drug coverage ended on December 31, 2010 your Special Election Period for drug coverage has been extended to February 28, 2011. This extension is called a “Special Election Period (SEP).” An SEP is an opportunity to enroll outside the typical Annual Enrollment Period and Initial Enrollment Period. If you qualify for this SEP, you should have received a reminder notice in the mail from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).
Since you didn’t enroll in a new plan, you were automatically enrolled in Original Medicare. Original Medicare is provided by the federal government and is comprised of Medicare Part A (hospital coverage) and Medicare Part B (doctor visits) health benefits. It does not include prescription drug coverage.
Because of this SEP, you now have until February 28, 2011 to elect a stand alone prescription drug plan or a Medicare Advantage plan that includes drug coverage. If you do not elect a new Medicare prescription drug plan or Medicare Advantage plan with drug coverage before the February 28 deadline, you’ll still have Original Medicare coverage. Keep in mind that your next chance to get Medicare drug coverage may not be until October 15, 2011, for an effective date of January 1, 2012.
Want to learn more? If you aren’t sure if this new deadline applies to you, call 1-800-MEDICARE, 24 hours a day, seven days a week (TTY 1-877-486-2048). You can also call the insurance company that provided your 2010 prescription drug coverage to confirm.
Check out our information on Medicare Enrollment Windows and Timing.
Blog Tags: Medicare Part D, Part C, Medicare Advantage, drug coverage, prescriptions, SEP, Special Election Period, deadline, extension
The family of UnitedHealthcare® Medicare Solutions plans are insured or covered by an affiliate of UnitedHealthcare®, a Medicare Advantage organization with a Medicare contract and Medicare-approved Part D Sponsor.
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