Medicare Advantage Plans Enrollment Dates 2014/2015

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When can you enroll in, switch, change, cancel or drop a Medicare Advantage plan in 2014/2015? Read below for all important dates:

1. When You Turn 65, Or Earlier If You Are Disabled

Usually, you first become eligible for Medicare when you turn 65, or earlier if you are disabled. At that time, you will automatically be enrolled in original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B) if you are receiving benefits from Social Security or the RRB (Railroad Retirement Board). When you turn 65, your ‘Initial Enrollment Period’ lasts seven months: from 3 months before to 3 months after your birthday. This is also the time when you are allowed to enroll in a Medicare advantage plan.

2. During Specific Times Each Year. For The 2014/2015 Season, Those Dates Are:

  • All Year (For 5-Star Plans) - You can switch to a ’5-star’ Medicare Advantage Plan at any time during the year. You are only allowed once every year to switch to a 5-star plan, and the Medicare advantage plan must be available in your area.
  • Special Enrollment (SEP) – Special Enrollment Periods may apply for many different reasons. Here are just a few some examples: you become eligible for a Special Needs Plan (SNP), you move out of the plan’s coverage area, or you move back to the US.
  • October 15 through December 7, 2014 - Open Enrollment Period for Medicare Advantage Plans and Prescription Drug Plans in 2015
    During annual open enrollment, you are able to enroll in a Medicare advantage plan. Your plan will take effect on January 1, 2015. This is a good time to check your current health care needs and evaluate benefits and premium of your current Medicare plan. Compare your current premium and the benefits to other Medicare advantage plans available in your area. Is your current plan still the best for your health care needs? If you don’t take action now, the next time you will be able to make changes will be during the open enrollment period next year.
  • January 1 through February 14, 2015 – Members of Medicare Advantage Plans are allowed to dis-enroll from their current plan and go back to traditional Medicare. Important: You will loose any prescription drug coverage your Medicare advantage plan may have provided, so in order to keep your medication covered, think about enrolling in a Part D plan when you switch back!

For more information, read www.medicare.gov or call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227).

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By: Joseph Rosario