Medicare coverage

Can I make changes to my Medicare coverage?

Switching Health Plans 

You can join Medicare during your Initial Enrollment Period, which begins three months before the month you turn 65 and lasts for seven full months. Suppose you want to drop or switch a health plan. In that case, you can do so in the Open Enrollment Period for Medicare Advantage from October 15 to December 7. You can change from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage (Part C) plan or switch back during this time. You can also switch from a Part C plan with drug coverage to one without, or vice versa. You can join, drop, or switch your Medicare prescription drug coverage (Part D) plan. 

Medicare Advantage 

If you joined a Medicare Advantage plan during your Initial Enrollment Period and want to switch to Original Medicare, you can do that within your first three months of Medicare. Switching between Medicare Advantage plans regardless of drug coverage happens between January 1 and March 31 during the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period. You can also switch during the previously mentioned Open Enrollment Period for Medicare Advantage. If you want to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan instead of Original Medicare, you can weigh your options and compare prices between different companies’ policies. This is the same service you would get through Medicare except through a private plan. There may be extra coverage for prescription drug costs or vision and hearing exams. You cannot drop your Part B coverage if you join a Medicare Advantage plan. You will still be paying the Part B monthly premium on top of your Part C costs. If you have Medicare Advantage (Part C), you cannot also have a Medigap (Supplemental) policy. 

Supplemental Coverage 

When you buy Medicare Supplement coverage, you have 30 days of free trial coverage, beginning with the day the policy starts. After the 30 days, you pay the monthly premium. If you decide to switch within those 30 days, cancel your coverage, and there will be no fee. If you drop your Medigap coverage or switch policies, be careful of the timing. To avoid a late enrollment penalty for drug coverage, you need to have creditable drug coverage within 63 days of your new prescription drug plan.

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