When is the Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period?

The Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period (also known as “MADP”) is January 1 through February 14 of every year. A Medicare Advantage (also known as “MA”) plan is a different way to get your Medicare benefits. A Medicare Advantage plan can include your Medicare Parts A and B along with your Medicare Part D prescription benefits all in one plan. They are administered by private insurance companies. Changes that you make during the Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period go into effect the first day of the following month and remain in effect the rest of the year.

What can I do during the Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period?

During the Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period you can make changes only if you have a Medicare Advantage plan already in force. During the Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period you can drop your Medicare Advantage and return to original Medicare. The Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period does not apply to anyone who does not already have original Medicare Part A and Part B.

For the most part the Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period allows you to do the following:

  • If you have a Medicare Advantage plan with a built-in Prescription Drug Plan (also known as a “MAPD”) you can disenroll from the Medicare Advantage plan and return to original Medicare Part A and Part B and purchase a separate Prescription Drug Plan (also known as “Medicare Part D” or “PDP”). You can also apply for a Medicare Supplement at this time.
  • If you have a Medicare Advantage plan that is a Private-Fee-For-Service plan (also known as “PFFS”) that has a “stand-alone” Prescription Drug Plan you can disenroll from the PFFS and return to original Medicare Part A and Part B but you must keep your Prescription Drug Plan.

In sum, you cannot change or switch your Medicare Advantage plan during the Medicare Disenrollment Period, you can only disenroll from a Medicare Advantage plan that you had previously purchased.

Can I buy a Medicare Supplement Plan during the Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period?

Yes, you can apply for a Medicare Supplement plan.  If you choose to disenroll from your Medicare Advantage plan federal law does not give you the guaranteed right to buy a Medicare Supplement plan (also known as Medigap”). However, you can apply for a Medicare Supplement plan but you will have to go through medical underwriting. Medicare Supplement plans are policies that the Medicare beneficiary purchases to supplement original Medicare Part A and Part B. A Medicare supplement is very comprehensive and can cover the majority of the expenses (also known as “cost-sharing”) that would otherwise be the sole responsibility of the Medicare beneficiary. Medicare Supplement plans are also policies that are purchased from private insurance companies.

If you should choose to disenroll from a Medicare Advantage plan and return to original Medicare Part A and Part B a Benefit Specialist at Medicare Pathways can assist you in purchasing the most appropriate and most affordable Medicare Supplement and/or Prescription Drug Plan based on your coverage needs for the plan year. You can consult with a Medicare Pathways’ Benefit Specialist by calling 1-866-466-9118 and review the plans available in your area. You can also request a quote for a Prescription Drug Plan or Medicare Supplement by clicking here.

 

Medicare Pathway, Inc. 1-866-466-9118