For coverage in 2016, open enrollment for Medicare will be from October 15 to December 7, 2015.
During the annual enrollment period (AEP) you can make changes to your healthcare coverage in some of the following ways.
- You can switch from the Original Medicare to Medicare Advantage or if you already have Medicare Advantage you can switch or Original.
- You can switch Medicare Advantage plans or Medicare Part D (prescription drug) plan to another.
- If you didn’t enroll for a Medicare Part D plan, you can do so during this enrollment period however, there may be a late fee applied.
If you would like to enroll in Medicare Advantage there is some criteria you must meet. You must be enrolled in Medicare Part A and B, you must live in the plan’s service area and you cannot have End-Stage Renal disease although some exceptions do apply.
Learn whether you qualify for Medicare advantage here : http://emccmarketing.com/who-should-enrol-in-a-medicare-advantage-plan/
Changing Medicare Advantage After the AEP
Between January 1 and February 14 of each year, you can leave your plan, if you are enrolled in Medicare Advantage, and return to Original Medicare. You cannot switch to another Advantage plan unless there are special circumstances that allow you a special enrollment period.
February 14th is the deadline to enroll in a Part D and will begin the first day of the following month that you enroll.
Enrolling in Original Medicare
What happens if you didn’t sign up for Medicare A and B when you were first eligible?
You have from January 1st to March 31st to do so. The effective coverage date is July 1st and there may be a late penalty added.
2016 Medicare Coverage Changes
Recipients reaching the gap in prescription drug coverage will benefit from better discounts to their prescription coverage. When someone reaches the prescription coverage limit ($2,960 in 2015) this discount will start and end when they have spent $4,700.
Medicare Part B Cost Likely To Go Up
The 2016 budget calls for an increase in premiums for Medicare Part B for those with higher incomes. Most enrollees pay the standard which is just under $105 but those who earn more than $85,000 will have to start paying more for their coverage.
Medicare Advantage Continues to Make Changes
The Medicare Advantage Plans continue to grow in popularity despite health care reform slowly reducing rebates paid to the plans. Many changes come year to year so it’s important to stay up to day on these changes to ensure you are getting the plan you want. Most people will continue to have several Medicare Advantage and Plan B options available to them.
Most beneficiaries should receive their Annual Notice of Change (ANOC) and their Evidence of Coverage (EOC) from their existing providers by September 30th.
Information will be available online through the medicare.gov website by October so any information can be viewed there as well. It is important to view this information to ensure any questions you may have are answered as well as any possible changes that may be made to your Medicare plan.