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Can I Switch My Medicare Plan During Open Enrollment?
MEDICARE
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Can I Switch My Medicare Plan During Open Enrollment?

The answer is yes; you can switch Medicare insurance coverage plans during open enrollment. Each year, the annual Medicare Open Enrollment period offers eligible individuals a chance to change their current Medicare coverage to one that better fits their needs.

 

What Do I Need to Know About Changing My Medicare Plan?

The open enrollment period for Medicare runs from October 15 to December 7. Each year during this time, you can switch your plan to one that covers the services you need best.

Open enrollment for Medicare is a good time to make changes to your current plan. For example, you can change from Original Medicare to Medicare Advantage, and vice versa. You can also add supplemental coverage plans or change to other Medicare Advantage plans.

If you like the plan you’re currently in but need another level of coverage, you can change with little hassle during Medicare Open Enrollment. Because health and financial situations change as we age, your circumstances could benefit from switching to a new Medicare insurance plan.

 

Why Would I Change My Medicare Coverage?

There are many reasons you might consider changing your Medicare insurance coverage during open enrollment. Maybe you recently got married. Or your health has changed. Or you’ve moved to a new state. Whatever the reason, people already enrolled in Medicare can make changes to their plan during Medicare Open Enrollment.

Some of the more common reasons to change Medicare plans are directly tied to the quality of care. Some of those include the following:

  • Doctor Coverage. Medicare will not pay for the care you receive from an opt-out provider (except in I emergencies). What’s more, many Medicare Advantage plans have networks of health care providers. It’s important to understand your plan’s provider network so you get the care you need from the clinicians you prefer.
  • Out-of-Pocket Costs. Medicare may leave you with out-of-pocket costs, including copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles. Although Medicare covers most medically necessary inpatient and outpatient health expenses, it sometimes does not pay 100% of your medical bills.
  • Prescription Drug Coverage. Medicare drug coverage has a coverage gap, also called the donut hole. MedicareResources.org reports that in 2022, you’ll enter the donut hole when you and your plan’s spending reaches $4,430. Once in the donut hole, you’ll pay 25% of the cost of drugs. And you leave the donut hole and enter the catastrophic coverage level when your spending and manufacturer discounts reach $7,050. Use Medicare Open Enrollment to evaluate supplemental prescription drug plans for additional Medicare insurance coverage during the gap.

How Can I Benefit From Switching Medicare Plans During Open Enrollment?

If you use Medicare Open Enrollment to shop around to compare Medicare insurance options, you might be able to find better, more comprehensive coverage at a lower price. For example, according to MedicareResources.Org, in 2021, 98% of Medicare Advantage plans offered telehealth, 96% provided fitness benefits, 92% included preventive dental benefits, and 91% covered eye exams.

Hearing loss is another area where you can benefit from a switch in plans. In 2021, 88% of Medicare plans offered coverage for hearing aids.

If your current Medicare plan isn’t covering these extras, you can use open enrollment to enroll in a different Medicare Advantage plan in your area that does.

 

Compare Your Medicare Open Enrollment Options with AgeFriendly.org

AgeFriendly.org wants to help you find the right Medicare coverage for your needs. We’ve partnered with SelectQuote to help you compare Medicare plans with the help of a licensed agent. You can call 1-855-589-1050 (TTY: 1-877-486-2048) today or visit medicare.selectquote.com/agefriendly at your convenience. No obligation to enroll.

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