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January 2013
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Reminder: Three Weeks Left to Switch Out of Medicare Advantage!

Reminder: Only three more weeks left to switch out of Medicare Advantage this year. Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D Open Enrollment is over! Did you miss your Medicare Open Enrollment season?

Unfortunately, Medicare Open Enrollment season for Medicare Advantage was super-easy to miss this year. Remember, this year (2012-2013) Medicare Advantage enrollees only had from October 15, 2012 to December 7, 2012 to change their Medicare Advantage plans.

Traditionally, Medicare Advantage enrollees also had the option to switch their plans during January, February and March of each year, but that “Open Enrollment” period is no longer available to you starting this year. If you relied on the traditional enrollment period in January, February and March to review your Medicare Advantage options and change your plan this year, unfortunately, you’re now stuck with the Medicare Advantage plan you have as of January 1st, 2012.

However, if you missed Open Enrollment, all is not lost! You may not be able to switch between Medicare Advantage plans, but you still have the option to disenroll from your Medicare Advantage plan until February 15th, and you will be allowed to enroll in traditional Medicare and a separate Medicare Part D prescription drug plan. (If you choose traditional Medicare, remember, you may also want to enroll in a Medigap (Medicare Supplemental Health Insurance) plan.)

But if you missed Medicare Open Enrollment, whatever you do, don’t miss February 14th! After February 14th, you are “locked into” your Medicare Advantage plan with really only two options:

5-Star Medicare Plans

Starting this year, seniors also have the option of switching to a 5-Star Medicare plan at any time in the year. 5-Star Medicare plans are plans which have gotten top marks in 36 quality performance measures, so if there is a 5-Star Medicare plan available to you, this could be a good option if you’re unhappy with your current Medicare Advantage plan. Unfortunately, this option is only available if there is a 5-Star Medicare plan in you area.

Medicare Special Needs Plans

Medicare special needs plans are designed to provide more focused and specialized healthcare for people who require health benefits tailored to their specific needs and conditions. The plans are available to Medicare beneficiaries who have chronic, severe or disabling medical conditions and more importantly for folks who may have missed their usual shot at enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan, enrollment runs year-round. Some of the chronic conditions currently approved for SNPs include chronic alcohol and other drug dependence, certain auto-immune disorders, cancer, certain cardiovascular disorders, chronic heart failure, dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Did you miss switching your Medicare Advantage plan? Tell us about it in our discussion forum

Related posts:

  1. Medicare Open Enrollment: Only a Few Weeks Left to Switch Medicare Advantage Plans!
  2. Reminder: One More Week to Switch Out Of Medicare Advantage
  3. Reminder: Tomorrow is the Last Day to Switch Out of Medicare Advantage
  4. Reminder: Today Is the Last Day To Switch Out Of Medicare Advantage
  5. Medicare Open Enrollment: Only One Month Left to Switch Medicare Advantage Plans!

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