New Enrollment Period Option For Medicare Advantage Plans Started in 2019 & Is Called Medicare Open Enrollment Period!

As of 1/1/2019 and later there is a new enrollment period (actually an old one that came back). It is called Medicare OEP (Open Enrollment Period) which will run from January 1st through March 31stIndividuals may make only one election during the Medicare Advantage OEP. The effective date for an Medicare Advantage OEP election is the first month following the receipt of the enrollment application.

If you are already enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, you’ll have a one time opportunity to:

  • Switch to a different Medicare Advantage plan (MA-PD or MA-only)
  • Dis-enroll from your current Medicare Advantage plan and return to Original Medicare (with or without a Part D plan) and also add a Medicare Supplement if you so desire.

This new Open Enrollment Period is not to be confused with the AEP (Annual Enrollment Period) which still runs from October 15th through December 7th. So it is very important to understand these are two distinct enrollment periods and different rules apply to each! Also that this new OEP does not replace AEP, it is in addition to it.

Currently the existing Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) that runs from October 15th through December 7th, when members may make changes to their plans. They can move from one Medicare Advantage plan to another Medicare Advantage plan, change from a Medicare Advantage plan to a Medicare Supplement plan or from a Medicare Supplement plan to a Medicare Advantage plan. Members can also change stand alone part D drug plans at this time. There is no limit to how many times they can switch as long as it done between October 15th through December 7th, but the last choice they make by December 7th is final. 

The old Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period (January 1 – February 14 every year) was discontinued, due to the addition of this new Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period.

NOTE: The new Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period does not provide an opportunity for a person enrolled in Original Medicare to join a Medicare Advantage plan. It also does not allow for Part D changes for individuals enrolled in Original Medicare, including those enrolled in stand alone Part D plans.

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