Each year, recipients have a chance to make changes to their Medicare Advantage coverage for the following year. Medicare Advantage Plans (also called “Part C”) are health plans run by Medicare-approved private insurance companies.
Medicare Advantage Plans include Part A, Part B, and usually other coverage like Medicare prescription drug coverage. Unlike “Original Medicare,” in which the government pays for Medicare benefits when you receive them, Medicare Advantage Plans are offered by private companies approved by Medicare, and Medicare pays these companies to cover your Medicare benefits.
If you’re in a Medicare Advantage Plan, you can leave your plan and switch to Original Medicare from January 1–February 14. Your Original Medicare coverage will begin the first day of the following month.
If you switch to Original Medicare during this period, you will also have until February 14 to also join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan. Your prescription drug coverage will begin the first day of the month after the plan gets your enrollment form.
During this period, you cannot switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage Plan. You may join a Medicare Supplemental Plan at any time. Make sure you understand how a plan works before you join.
For more information you can contact a Benefits Counselor at DETCOG’s Area Agency on Aging of Deep East Texas by dialing 2-1-1 or at (800) 256-6848.