Medicare Advantage plans are another way to get Medicare benefits. This alternative is offered by private insurance companies and these insurers usually add more benefits than you can get with traditional Medicare. However, if the provider network, or anything else about the plan’s rules, doesn’t meet with your complete satisfaction, you can switch back to original Medicare from January 1 to February 14. Since you’ll be giving up the prescription drug coverage that typically is included in Medicare Advantage plans, you may also sign up for a Part D prescription drug plan during that period.
If you make the switch during January, the change will take effect on February 1. If you do it during February, the change will take effect on March 1. When you want to sign up for a Part D plan and drop your Advantage plan, you simply need to enroll with the Part D plan and Medicare will automatically disenroll you from the Advantage plan. The effective date will be the same for both of these changes.
Once you return to Medicare coverage, you may want to expand that by adding a Medigap plan. There are 10 different plans from which to choose and they all pick up charges that Medicare doesn’t cover. Plan A starts with the fewest benefits and Medigap Plan F comes with the most comprehensive benefits.
You can learn what each type of the Medigap plan covers here on our website. Just let us know if you’d like our help in determining which one will best fit your situation. We can also help you compare prices from different insurance companies for the same Medigap plan. Companies do charge different rates and comparison shopping can save you hundreds of dollars.
Wiley Long is founder and president of Medigap Advisors, and is passionate about helping people navigate the confusing waters of Medicare. He is the author of The Medicare Playbook: Designing Your Successful Health Coverage Strategy, a clear and simple explanation so you can make the most of your Medicare coverage. For more information visit www.MediGapAdvisors.com.