Switching from a Medicare Advantage Plan back to Original Medicare might not be something you read about often, but it actually happens quite a bit. Medicare Advantage Plans have become increasingly popular among seniors over the years because of their affordability and additional benefits like vision, hearing, and dental coverage. However, some seniors may find themselves unsatisfied with their Medicare Advantage Plan or may want to switch back to Original Medicare. If you’re one of these seniors, you may be wondering if switching from a Medicare Advantage Plan back to Original Medicare is possible. This blog post will help answer your questions and guide you through the process.
When Can You Return Back to Original Medicare?
If you find yourself wondering if or when you can return back to original Medicare, it’s important to understand that there are specific times during the year when you can make changes to your Medicare coverage. The Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) runs from October 15th to December 7th each year, during which you can enroll in or switch your Medicare Advantage or prescription drug coverage. Additionally, if you’re already enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan, there is a separate enrollment period called the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period (OEP) that runs from January 1st to March 31st each year. This period allows you to make changes to your Medicare Advantage Plan, including switching to a different Medicare Advantage Plan or switching back to Original Medicare. You can generally only switch outside these enrollment periods if you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period, which certain circumstances such as relocating to a new area may trigger.
Things To Consider When Leaving Your Medicare Advantage Plan
If you’re considering switching back to Original Medicare, it’s important to understand the differences between Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage. Original Medicare consists of Part A (hospital insurance) and Part B (medical insurance), which are offered by the federal government. Medicare Advantage, on the other hand, is a private insurance option that covers the same services as Original Medicare, but may offer additional benefits like vision, hearing, and dental coverage. Original Medicare may have higher out-of-pocket costs, but it allows you the freedom to choose your own healthcare providers. Learn more about Medicare Supplement plans and stand-alone dental, vision, and hearing plans.
How To Switch From Your Medicare Advantage Plan back to Original Medicare?
To switch from a Medicare Advantage Plan back to Original Medicare, you’ll need to contact your Medicare Advantage Plan provider or call Medicare directly at 1 (800) MEDICARE. You can also enroll in a Part D prescription drug plan at this time if you’d like and it should automatically end the Medicare Advantage plan (as long as the plan has prescription drug coverage integrated into it). Once you’re back on Original Medicare, you’ll have the option to enroll in a Medicare Supplemental Insurance (Medigap) Plan, which can help cover your out-of-pocket costs like deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments. If you are switching out of a Medicare Advantage plan that has prescription drug coverage, you most definitely will want to enroll in a stand-alone Part D prescription plan.
Can I Get A Medicare Supplement Plan After Switching Back To Original Medicare?
If you decide to switch from a Medicare Advantage Plan back to Original Medicare and wish to enroll in a Medicare Supplemental Insurance plan, note that you might need to respond to health-related questions for eligibility. Keep in mind that if you turned 65 and initially enrolled into a Medicare Advantage plan and have been on that plan for less than 12 months then you can qualify for a special enrollment period (SEP). This SEP allows you to return to original Medicare and enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan with no underwriting. Your Trial Right is the name of this specific SEP. Learn more about other Special Enrollment Periods and how to qualify.
Switching from a Medicare Advantage Plan back to Original Medicare is possible, but it’s important to understand the enrollment periods and differences between the two options. If you’re thinking about making the switch, be sure to contact your Medicare Advantage Plan provider or call Medicare directly at 1 (800) MEDICARE. And if you decide to enroll in a Medigap plan, be sure to do so during your open enrollment period to ensure you get the best coverage and pricing. By understanding the process and timing, you can make an informed decision that best meets your healthcare needs and budget. If all of this still sounds confusing, then let one of our advisors help. Simply give us a call at (800)924-4727 and experience why Senior Benefit Services, Inc has so many satisfied clients. Remember, “We Make Medicare Easy!”