“Medicare Quick Bites” is your weekly treat of Medicare information. Hawaii SHIP has created these bite-sized lessons to help you understand this complex federal health insurance, thus “Making Medicare Digestible!” If you’ve missed the previous quick bites, they are also posted on our blog. Follow us on Facebook or Twitter to get your weekly delivery of Medicare Quick Bites! This week’s treat is Medicare Advantage, or Part C, Open Enrollment Period.
Every year, from January 1 through March 31, Medicare provides another enrollment period to change your Medicare Advantage Plan. During this time you could:
- Switch to another Medicare Advantage Plan, or
- Drop your Medicare Advantage Plan, return to Original Medicare, and purchase a Part D Prescription Drug Plan.
You can only make one change during this period which will take effect the first of the month after you switch plans. This additional open enrollment period is helpful if you’re dissatisfied with your new Medicare Advantage Plan obtained during the previous year’s Open Enrollment Period (October 15 through December 7).
If you’re returning to Original Medicare AND signing up for a drug plan, you will automatically be disenrolled from your Advantage Plan by joining the drug plan. This enrollment period doesn’t apply if you currently have Original Medicare.