This is the time of year for Medicare Advantage buyer’s remorse. The enrollment period has come and gone – ending December 7 this year. Many people, enticed by the lower premiums and “loud” sales pitches from the Advantage plans, have made the switch from Medicare coverage (with a supplement in some cases) to Medicare replacement plans such as Medicare Advantage.
What we hear from people this time of year on a consistent basis is that, after they understand the plans better, many people can see the negatives of the Advantage plans and want to go back to a Medicare supplement plan. The most common reasons cited for this are: the co-pays and deductibles associated with the Advantage plans, the doctor network restrictions and the lack of flexibility to return to Medicare with a supplement if dissatisfied with the Advantage plan.
There is good news! Largely in response to the prevalence of these situations, Medicare has created the MADP (Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period). This period, which runs January 1-February 14, 2012, allows you to leave a Medicare Advantage plan and return to regular, traditional Medicare with a Part D plan (or even without a Part D plan if you prefer).
If you request to do this during the month of January, the changes will take effect on February 1. If you request to do it during February, the changes will take effect on March 1, 2012. It is important to note how you make these changes. If you wish to sign up for a “stand-alone” Part D plan and get “out” of your Advantage plan, you simply need to sign up for the Part D plan. Medicare will automatically disenroll you from your Advantage plan, effective the same day that the Part D plan starts.
Once you have enrolled in the Part D, thereby disenrolling from the Advantage plan, you can sign up for a Medigap (Medicare supplement) plan. If you are familiar with the two different plan types, Advantage and supplement, you are probably aware of how the supplement plans work. You can go to any doctor or hospital nationwide that takes Medicare and the plans are significantly more comprehensive coverage than the Advantage options.
If you have questions about how the MADP works or making these changes, please let us know. If you just want to get quotes/information on the supplement plan options, please request Medicare Supplement quotes from us on our website or call us at 877.506.3378.