Consumer Advisory: Medicare Advantage do-over period lasts until March 31
MA enrollees can switch Medicare Advantage plans or move to Original Medicare.
DENVER (Feb. 28, 2019) – The Colorado State Health Insurance Assistance Program (Colorado SHIP), housed within the Colorado Division of Insurance at the Department of Regulatory Agencies, reminds older adults and people with disabilities currently enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans that they have until March 31 to switch to another Medicare Advantage plan or to Original Medicare.
This opportunity is only available to individuals who were enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan on January 1, 2019, and only one change is allowed during this period. Changes take effect the month after they are made. So, if a change is made in March, it becomes effective in April.
“No one is required to make a change,” said Kimberly Latta, Director of Colorado SHIP. “But this period is for people who might be having second thoughts about the Medicare Advantage decision they made during open enrollment last fall. We encourage anyone who has questions about this new period to contact Colorado SHIP.”
Medicare Advantage plans, also called “Part C” or “MA plans” are a type of coverage offered by private insurance companies (not the federal government), but approved and paid by Medicare to cover enrolled people’s benefits. A Medicare Advantage plan covers all Medicare Part A (hospital insurance), Medicare Part B (medical insurance), and often Medicare Part D (prescription drug) services. Note that Medicare Advantage plans are different from Medicare Supplemental Insurance, also known as Medigap policies.
Here are the changes that are allowed during this Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period.
- If you’re in a Medicare Advantage Plan, you can switch to another Medicare Advantage Plan.
- You can disenroll from your Medicare Advantage Plan and return to Original Medicare. If you choose to do so, you’ll be able to join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (Medicare Part D), but may not be able to enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan (Medigap), so determine your available options before making the switch.
Current Colorado Medicare Advantage enrollees who want to take advantage of this opportunity should contact a Colorado SHIP Counselor at 888-696-7213 or call Medicare at 800-633-4227. When calling, these enrollees should have their drug list handy so they can work with a counselor to select coverage that best meets their needs.
Colorado SHIP helps Medicare enrollees navigate the Medicare system including Medicare Advantage and Medigap plans. Here in Colorado, people with Medicare questions or concerns can call 888-696-7213 to be connected to someone in their area for assistance.
The Colorado Division of Insurance (DOI), part of the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) regulates the insurance industry and assists consumers and other stakeholders with insurance issues. Visit dora.colorado.gov/insurance for more information or call 303-894-7499 / toll free 800-930-3745.
DORA is dedicated to preserving the integrity of the marketplace and is committed to promoting a fair and competitive business environment in Colorado. Consumer protection is our mission. Visit dora.colorado.gov for more information or call 303-894-7855 / toll free 1-800-886-7675.