Medicare Disenrollment | A Step-by-Step Guide

You may decide that you want to change your Medicare coverage.

Depending on how you get your Medicare benefits, there are different times of the year during which you can disenroll from a Medicare plan or change to a different Medicare coverage option.

Use the guide below to help with your Medicare disenrollment, no matter how you currently get your Medicare coverage.

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How to cancel Medicare Part A

Most people do not pay a premium for Medicare Part A hospital insurance, so there is no mechanism to cancel it in this case.

But if you do pay a premium for Part A and wish to cancel it, you may do so by visiting your local Social Security office or by calling 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778).

How to cancel Medicare Part B

Part B of Medicare is optional, but you may be automatically enrolled if you’re already receiving Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board retirement benefits when you turn 65.

Because there is a monthly premium for Part B, you will be automatically charged for that premium the month your coverage begins.

When you receive your Medicare card and welcome packet in the mail, the back of your Medicare card will include instructions for disenrolling from Part B.

If you do not initially disenroll in Part B, you will have to do so by contacting your local Social Security office or calling 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778).

You may not disenroll from Part B online. You will have to speak directly to a Social Security agent to complete the process.

You are required to fill out the form while speaking to a representative to ensure you understand the consequences of disenrollment, such as late-enrollment penalties that you may incur later on if you wish to re-enroll in Part B.

How to cancel Medicare Part C

If you wish to cancel your Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage) plan, you may be able to do so during certain enrollment periods that include:

  • Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period (Jan. 1 – March 31)

  • Fall Open Enrollment Period for Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plans, also called Annual Enrollment Period (Oct. 15 – Dec. 7)

  • Special Enrollment Period

Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period

Starting in 2019, the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period takes place from January 1 to March 31.

During the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period, you can change your Medicare plans in the following ways:

  • You can switch from your current Medicare Advantage plan (Medicare Part C) to another Medicare Advantage plan, whether or not either plan offers prescription drug coverage.

  • You can disenroll from or cancel your current Medicare Advantage plan and return to Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Part B).

  • If you choose to go through Medicare Advantage disenrollment and return to Original Medicare, you also have the option of enrolling in a Prescription Drug Plan (Part D) during this period.

To disenroll from a Medicare Advantage plan and switch back to Original Medicare, you should contact your Medicare Advantage plan provider, or you can call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227).

Fall Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Enrollment Period or Annual Election Period(AEP)

The Fall Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) takes place from October 15 to December 7 each year.

During AEP, you can change your Medicare plans in the following ways:

  • You may disenroll from one Medicare Advantage plan and change plans to another Medicare Advantage plan, whether or not either plan provides prescription drug coverage.

  • You can switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan.

  • You can disenroll from your Medicare Advantage plan and change back to Original Medicare.

  • You can enroll in a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan.

  • You can disenroll from your Medicare prescription drug plan coverage entirely, or switch from one Part D plan to another.

To change Medicare Advantage plans or to join a new plan entirely, you can call TTY Users: 711 to speak to a licensed insurance agent.

An agent can help you sign up for a new Medicare Advantage plan, and you will be automatically disenrolled from your previous Medicare Advantage plan.

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Or call TTY Users: 711 24/7 to speak with a licensed insurance agent.

Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (Part D) disenrollment

The time to disenroll from a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (or to switch to a different drug plan) is during the yearly fall Medicare Open Enrollment Period for Medicare Advantage and prescription drug plans, which – as mentioned above – takes place from October 15 to December 7.

There are four ways in which you may disenroll from Medicare Part D during this time:

  • Call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227).
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  • Mail a signed written letter to your plan’s mailing address notifying them of your desire to disenroll.
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  • Submit a disenrollment request through the plan’s website (if such a feature is offered).
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  • Call your plan and ask a representative to mail you a disenrollment form which you will fill out and return.

You can typically find the contact information for your Medicare Part D plan on your membership card. 

Cancelling Medicare during a Special Enrollment Period

Certain circumstances may make you eligible for a Medicare Special Enrollment Period.

A Special Enrollment Period may be granted at any time outside of the Annual Enrollment Period to people who move outside of their plan’s coverage area, lose Medicaid coverage or other experience other specific life events.

If you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period, you may be able to switch or cancel your Medicare Advantage or Part D plan.

Medicare Supplement Insurance disenrollment

There is no special period during which to disenroll from a Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) plan.

Simply contact the insurance company that provides your plan and notify them of your desire to drop the coverage.

Have more questions about Medicare enrollment?

A licensed insurance agent can help you review your Medicare enrollment options and find the right coverage for your needs. Call today to speak with an agent.

 

Compare Medicare Advantage plans in your area

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Or call TTY Users: 711 24/7 to speak with a licensed insurance agent.