Medicare Advantage

Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period

Open enrollment periods can be confusing! Understand your options.

We recently finished the annual Medicare Open Enrollment period for 2020, which ended on December 7, 2019. We hope you were able to review your Prescription Drug Plans and make adjustments as needed.

We are now in the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period! This period runs from January 1st to March 31st each year. During this period, individuals who already have a Medicare Advantage plan are able to:

  • Switch to a different Medicare Advantage Plan; or
  • Drop your Medicare Advantage Plan and return to traditional Medicare, then sign up for a stand-alone Medicare Part D prescription drug plan.

Why might you want to make a change? Some individuals may not be happy with their current Medicare Advantage plan and may be unhappy with the network doctors or pharmacies in their plan.

What if you’re satisfied with your current Medicare Advantage Plan? If so, you do not need to make any changes at this time. You will still have the option to make changes during next year’s open enrollment period if your coverage needs change.

One extra note regarding individuals who qualify for a Low-Income Subsidy (Medicare Part D Extra Help): Even though Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period ended on December 7th, those receiving “Part D Extra Help” are able to change their Prescription Drug Plans once per quarter throughout the calendar year. We’ll talk more about the Low-Income Subsidy/Extra Help program in an upcoming Senior Tip.

If you would like to review your options, contact your local SHIBA office

(1-800-247-4422 – SHIBA Medicare Helpline), your insurance agent, or go online to to review your plan options with Medicare Plan Finder.

Tom Packer is an Elder Law Attorney serving all of Southeast Idaho. As part of his law practice, Tom offers Life Care Planning to deal with the challenges created by long-term illness, disability and incapacity. If you have a question about a Senior’s legal, financial or healthcare needs, please call us.

January 2020