If you are happy with what you had last year you can usually just do nothing and you have the same plans for next year. However, since plan details can and do change, it’s important to first check that your plan still suits you. For both Medicare Advantage and Part D plans, it’s important to check on plan changes through the Medicare.gov website. Remember to think about not only plan changes but about how your life, health, location, preferences and prescriptions may have changed—is the same plan still right for you? Tools at the Medicare website will ask you to enter your prescription medications so you can compare Part D plans and make sure yours is still a good deal for you, so write down a list before you go to the website.
Location, Location, Location
Some MA plans and some Part D plans are only available in certain areas of the country—if you are planning to move, give the tool your new location and let it tell you what plans work there, too.
Don’t miss open enrollment
For the most part this is the only time you can switch your Medicare choices. There are a couple of exceptions though:
- Certain life events including moving can qualify you for a special enrollment period (SEP) (see links below).
- Because MA plans are privately run, there is also something called a Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period (MADP), which you may be able to access if you are genuinely unhappy with a Medicare Advantage plan. That goes from New Year’s Day to Valentine’s Day 2016 (Jan. 1 – Feb. 14). It’s not a full open enrollment. You can leave your MA plan and return to original Medicare, and you can add a part D plan, but most other changes are not allowed at this time, like switching from one MA plan to another. That has to happen before December 31.
> Sign up or change plans by click here.
> Information on Special Enrollment Periods can be found here.
> Click here for Medicare Supplement plans “Medigap” information.