September 17, 2018 Share

Medicare Open Enrollment

The Open Enrollment season of Medicare begins as of October 15 and runs until December 7. Many people are confused as to exactly what the Open Enrollment is as well as what their rights are during this period.

The Open Enrollment period serves as a time period when those Medicare enrolled people would like to make a change to some of their coverage. It’s very important to first know exactly what type of coverage you have, is it a Medicare supplemental/medigap plan, or is it a MedAdvantage Plan. When going onto Medicare, you would’ve had to choose either of these 2 options whom are as different as night is from day.
If you have a Medicare supplemental plan, and you’re looking to move from one supplemental plan into another, then the rules of Open Enrollment do not apply to you. You may change as often as you like, but remember that you will be required to answer health questions in order to make this change, and a carrier may decline or impose higher rates accordingly, if you are unable to do so. You may switch plans once a month if you desire, you just have to pass the health questions.

Open Enrollment applies to MedAdvantage Plans and to drug plans. So if you do have a supplement, but aren’t happy with your drug plan, it is during the Open Enrollment Period that you may change to another drug plan.

It is most important to remember though, when it comes to health coverage, that there must be a MedAdvantage plan involved in the equation in order for the rules of Open Enrollment to apply. So this means any one of the following must apply:

1)You must be attempting to change from one MedAdvantage Plan and enter into another.
2)You must be attempting to go from a supplemental plan into a MedAdvantage Plan
3)You must be attempting to go from a MedAdvantage plan into a supplemental plan.

It’s important to remember though that should you be attempting to move from a MedAdvantage plan into a supplemental plan, the supplemental plan is still allowed to ask health questions, and can absolutely deny you coverage based on those findings. You do not receive any special considerations or free passes simply because it’s the Open Enrollment Period. This is very important to remember and is a common miscalculation among the people we often work with, whom are under the assumption that Open Enrollment allows them to move freely between coverage plans, without questions nor consequence. This is ABSOLUTELY 100% NOT TRUE.

When you initially enroll in your Part B of Medicare you get a one time free pass that prevents the supplemental plans from asking you health questions, but once this free pass expires, and you should then try to make a change, any carrier that you are attempting to move to is allowed to make you pass through the underwriting phase.

I can help you if you have questions or are still confused about this process and how it all works. There are no fees nor costs for our services.
I do cost free seminars in the region, where I go into detail about how it all works, and exactly what your rights & entitlements are. Feel free to reach out to me to find out when I will be in your area.