Published Jan. 22, 2020
Millions of American seniors may not have signed up for the correct Medicare coverage during the Medicare Annual Election Period (AEP, also called the fall Medicare Open Enrollment Period) in fall of 2019.
Prior to the Annual Election Period, which ran from October 15 to December 7 every year, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) unveiled a new “plan finder” tool to help beneficiaries find and enroll in Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage) plans and Medicare Part D (prescription drug) coverage.
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Speak with a licensed insurance agent
However, the new tool was filled with errors and unclear information about plan prices and benefits, which left many seniors scratching their heads. Some seniors may even have signed up for a policy that wasn’t the best for their circumstances.
You can use this Medicare Plan Finder tutorial for help navigating the Medicare.gov website tool.
Unfortunately, there are limited opportunities for beneficiaries to change their Medicare plans outside of the fall Open Enrollment Period.
A Medicare Special Enrollment Period (SEP) may be granted at any time throughout the year to beneficiaries who qualify because of a certain circumstance. These qualifying circumstances can include situations such as moving to a new state or, importantly in 2020, signing up for a Medicare plan after receiving incorrect information from erroneous or fraudulent advertising or from an insurance salesperson.
In 2020, some Medicare beneficiaries who enrolled in a Medicare plan because of bad information found on the Medicare.gov plan finder tool may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. If you qualify, you will be given an opportunity to change to a new plan.
If you signed up for a Medicare Advantage plan during AEP, you may be able to utilize the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period that runs from January 1 to March 31 each year. During this time, eligible beneficiaries may change their Medicare Advantage plan or switch back to Original Medicare with or without a Medicare Part D plan.
If you are second guessing the policy you signed up for during AEP, there are a few things you may be able to do.
Take advantage of the Special Enrollment Period noted above, if you qualify. Eligibility may be granted on a case-by-case basis, so you may want to call and speak with a licensed insurance agent to find out if you qualify.
You can also use the MedicareAdvantage.com plan finder tool below to compare Part C plans and Medicare Prescription Drug plans, including information about plan costs, availability and more.
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Or call TTY Users: 711 to speak with a licensed insurance agent. We accept calls 24/7!
Christian Worstell is a licensed insurance agent and a Senior Staff Writer for MedicareAdvantage.com. He is passionate about helping people navigate the complexities of Medicare and understand their coverage options.
His work has been featured in outlets such as Vox, MSN, and The Washington Post, and he is a frequent contributor to health care and finance blogs.
Christian is a graduate of Shippensburg University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He currently lives in Raleigh, NC.
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