Medicare Fall Annual Enrollment

It's almost that time of the year again when Medicare beneficiaries get to review, keep or change their current Medicare coverage for 2023. It's seems like every few minutes there's an advertisement on TV for a plan that includes "Extra Benefits". 

So let's get clear on what you can and cannot do in the Annual Enrollment Period for Medicare beneficiaries which starts on October 15th and runs through December 7th. 

I cannot make this clear enough!

If you have a Medicare Supplement plan, also known as Medigap, this is not an opportunity to change that plan. However, if you want to apply for a Medicare Supplement outside of your initial enrollment period, you may do so, but you'll also be subject to medical underwriting. Remember the benefits of Medicare Supplement insurance plans do not change from year to year. So in most cases, the only reason to change your Medigap plan is to lower your premium. 

So what can you do during the Annual Enrollment Period for Medicare?

  • You can switch from your current Advantage plan to another Advantage plan
  • You can switch from your current Drug plan to another Drug plan
  • You can return to Original Medicare if you don't want to keep your Advantage plan, and enroll in a Medicare Part D drug plan.

Why you should consider changing your Medicare Advantage plan?

Every insurance company that provides the alternative coverage to Original Medicare, in the form of Medicare Advantage plans, has the ability to change plan benefits, premiums and networks. If you are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan it is crucial that you review all of these changes for the follow year to make sure that your plan still meets your healthcare and budget needs. 

The same is true for Medicare Part D prescription drug plan. These insurance companies that provide prescription coverage can change their plan benefits for the following year. This could also include premium, deductibles, coinsurance, pharmacy networks and formulary changes. 

Can you disenroll from you Medicare Advantage plan and get Medigap?

If you are unhappy with your Medicare Advantage plan there are limited times to disenroll and go back to Original Medicare Part A and Part B. 

The first is during the Fall Open Enrollment Period starting on October 15th every year. If you decide to take this approach you'll most likely want to add a Medicare Supplement which will give you almost 100% coverage for all services covered by Medicare. It is super important to apply for the Medigap insurance first. The reason is that in most states insurance companies will require you to pass their medical underwriting guidelines. So if you have an serious health conditions or pending medical services, the chances are you will not get offered this Medigap coverage. 

If the Medigap insurance company does approve your application, then the next step is to apply for a Prescription Drug Plan. When you enroll in this drug plan, Medicare will automatically cancel your Medicare Advantage enrollment on December 31st at midnight. Then your new year Medicare Supplement and Medicare Part D drug plan will begin on January 1st the following year. 

Medicare can be confusing for most. We want to help you navigate the many options available to you, so please call us directly at (800) 405-4802 and chat with our insurance advisors for help.