The Center for Medicare Services has just provided additional guidance concerning the enrollment of individuals who will be losing their current Medicare Advantage Private Fee-for-Service coverage as a result of their present insurance company dropping the PFFS plans. If you are amongst those losing your coverage as a result, you can use the upcoming Special Election Period (SEP) to enroll for coverage with a new company. Your coverage may begin a with a January 1, 2010, effective date, or with effective dates on the first day of November or December 2009.
According to CMS, agents offering Medicare Advantage coverage may not speak to beneficiaries losing their coverage until these members receive letters of non-renewal from their current carriers. CMS has indicated that these members should receive their non-renewal notification by November 2, 2009. Once these individuals receive their letters of non-renewal, agents may begin working with them and taking enrollments. It is possible that some individuals will receive their letters prior to November 2, perhaps as early as early October. However, if you have not yet received a letter of termination from your current carrier, an agent is not allowed to assist you in looking for another Medicare Advantage plan.
It should also be noted that this SEP can be used for both to submit either a Medicare Advantage or a Medicare Supplement applications. This is the perfect time for someone with health issues that is losing coverage to obtain new coverage without having to go through medical underwriting.
Jim McFadden has over 11 years of executive-level experience in the health insurance industry, is a youth baseball, softball and football coach, and has one of the worst fantasy football records in the world.