| Tue, Dec 26, 2017 @ 09:00 AM

Got New Coverage for the New Year?

Posted by Medicare Made Clear

senior couple discussing at home with agentIf you made changes to your Medicare plan during Medicare Open Enrollment, you may be wondering what’s next. About 10 days after you enroll, you may get a phone call or letter from your Medicare insurance company. This is to make sure you understand your new plan. It is also a chance for you to give any information missing from your application.

In a few weeks, you’ll get information in the mail that may include:

  • A copy of your completed plan enrollment application. Keep this application for your records.
  • An acceptance letter showing your enrollment has been approved by Medicare.
  • A member ID card and information packet from your Medicare Advantage or prescription drug plan provider. Read this information carefully. It has details of your new plan, contact information and your Evidence of Coverage. A letter explaining how you may be able to get extra help paying for Medicare costs may also be included. Keep these materials so you can refer to them if you have questions later.

Changing Coverage if you Change Your Mind

You’ve probably heard that nothing is forever. That applies to your Part C and/or D plan, too. There are rules about changing your Medicare Advantage coverage outside of Open Enrollment. If you want to make changes at any other time, you may have to pay a penalty, unless you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP).

Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period

You can drop a Medicare Advantage plan during the disenrollment period. You will automatically return to Original Medicare Part A & Part B. The dates for Medicare Advantage disenrollment are January 1 – February 14. If you want to add drug coverage to your Original Medicare coverage, you can join a Part D drug plan. During disenrollment you can’t switch from one Medicare Advantage plan to another Medicare Advantage plan. You can’t make changes if you already have Original Medicare. You can’t switch from one Part D drug coverage plan to another Part D plan. And you can’t join, switch or drop a Medicare Medical Savings Account (MSA) plan.

Special Enrollment Period (SEP)

If you have certain changes to your life circumstances, such as moving out of your plan’s coverage area, you may qualify for a SEP. There are no set dates for SEPs. They are set according to your specific situation.

5-Star Special Enrollment Period

The 5-Star special enrollment period is December 8, 2013 – November 30, 2014. If a 5-Star plan is available in your area, you can switch to it during those dates. You can also switch from one 5-Star plan to another 5-Star plan. If you switch to a 5-Star plan that doesn’t have drug coverage, you won’t be able to add drug coverage until the next Medicare Open Enrollment, October 15 – December 7. You can make changes to your plan only once during any 5-Star Special Enrollment Period.

For more information, explore MedicareMadeClear.com or contact the Medicare helpline 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227), TTY 1-877-486-2048.


Medicare.gov: Learn more about changing your Medicare coverage on the official website of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid.

Plan Finder: Compare Medicare plans for your area

Free Medicare Counseling: Call or meet with a State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) counselor.


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