The Medicare program has lots of enrollment guidelines, but many people don’t know that you are, in fact, able to adjust your coverage. Not taking advantage of this is one of the most common mistakes seniors make in regards to their continued Medicare journey. Things change in your life that affect your insurance needs, and your insurance should change with you. Let’s break down what changing your Medicare coverage can look like.
Reasons To Change Your Coverage
The most common reason people will decide to change their Medicare plan is due to a change in their situation, whether it be physical, financial, or otherwise.
When there is a sudden change or a large change that directly affects the coverage you currently have, it falls under Medicare’s category of ‘special circumstances.’ This can include losing your employer’s insurance, moving from your home, or anything else that affects how Medicare insures you. These special circumstances can make you eligible to adjust your Part D coverage and even your Medicare Advantage plan.
You can also decide to change your Medicare coverage without having an emergency or a specific reason. Whether you want to try a different plan, increase or decrease your coverage, or even need to adjust to bring down costs, you can add or drop certain plans during different periods of the year. This even applies to people applying for Medicare for the first time!
When Medicare Coverage Can Be Changed
There are different enrollment periods to change your coverage based on the plan you’re changing and the situation.
- Annual Enrollment Period: Lasts October 15th – December 7th and lets you review your current coverage and make changes if necessary to a new, better plan. Changes made during Annual Enrollment go into effect on the following January 1st.
- Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period: Lasts January 1st – March 31st and applies to changes made regarding your Medicare Advantage plan, whether it is switching to a new one, dropping your plan and switching to Original Medicare, or switching to Advantage and dropping your Original Medicare plan. Adjustments made during general enrollment go into effect on July 1st.
- Special Enrollment Periods: Length and timing vary depending on the situation and plan being changed. Any type of Medicare coverage that you might be enrolled in has potential to be changed during a special enrollment period, but they are all different and you aren’t guaranteed an SEP based on any situation.
The guidelines and repercussions of changing your plans can be hard to understand or even to find information about. Do your research before making any changes to your Medicare coverage so you don’t end up without the benefits you need or paying too much for them.
Talk To Us About Your Coverage Options
We love helping our clients make the right decisions. Whether you are going to enroll in the future or are already enrolled looking for a change, we can be a resource for you. To get started, call ReLion Insurance Solutions at 858-999-2858.