Last Chance to Change Medicare Coverage for 2010by Denise Early on Mar. 03, 2010, under Health
March 31st is the deadline for making a change to your Medicare coverage for the year. After April 1st most people are “locked in” with their coverage until January 2011. The only exceptions are for people who move to another county (Pinal to Pima, for example) or people who are getting help with their drug costs or their Medicare Part B premium. Stand-alone Part D plans cannot be changed until the end of the year.
One change is allowed in Medicare coverage between January 1st and March 31st. Here are plan changes that are allowed:
If a person is in an MAPD (Medicare Advantage plan with a drug plan) they can:
1) change to another MAPD plan
2) change to Original Medicare and get a stand-alone Part D plan
3) change to a PFFS plan and get a stand-alone drug plan
If a person is enrolled in an MA-only (a Medicare Advantage plan without a drug plan) they can:
1) change to another MA-only plan, or
2) go back to Original Medicare (but they can’t get a Part D plan at this time of year).
If a person has Original Medicare and a stand-alone Part D plan they can: enroll in an MAPD plan (HMO, PPO por PFFS)
If a person has only Medicare (and no Part D plan) they can: enroll in an MA-only plan (with no drug plan)
The key constraint during this period relates to the Part D plan. If a person is enrolled in a stand-alone Part D plan they can’t change to a new stand-alone part D plan. BUT, if they are enrolled in a stand-alone Part D plan, they can enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan that includes a Part D plan (thus changing their Part D plan). Confused? Don’t worry, you’re not alone.
After April 1st no changes can be made to your Medicare coverage, whatever it is – unless you move out of the coverage area for your plan (Part D or Medicare Advantage). And if you move, you have only 63 days to sign up for a new plan or find yourself in limbo – where you are disenrolled from your old plan and you can’t enroll in a new one (until the end of the year).
Note: Medicare Supplements can be changed at any time. And people covered by AHCCCS and Medicare, or the people receiving a Low Income Subsidy for their drug plan can change their Medicare Advantage plan throughout the year.
For more information check out: http://arizonamedicarenews.com