Prep for Medicare Open Enrollment: What’re the Key Changes for 2020?

Can you believe that 17.2 percent of Americans used Medicare in 2017 alone? It’s no wonder why this generous program netted $721 billion that same year.

That’s because Medicare doesn’t have income restrictions. Instead, Medicare enrollment focuses on those that are elderly or disabled. 

Are you someone who’s getting ready for the Medicare deadline but don’t know what to expect? Here’s everything you need to know about Medicare open enrollment for 2020.

What is Medicare Open Enrollment?

What is Medicare open enrollment, anyway? 

Essentially, Medicare open enrollment is the best time for you to enroll in medical coverage. Starting on October 15, the enrollment period lasts until December 7 every year. Changes to your plan go into effect on January 1.

Why is this important?

Because Medicare enrollment can give you the chance to:

  • Change Medicare Advantage plans.
  • Swap from Medicare Advantage to Standard Medicare.
  • Exchange Standard Medicare for Medicare Advantage.
  • Sign up for prescription drugs with Medicare Part D.
  • Trade Medicare Part D for another plan.
  • Get rid of Medicare Part D.

So, what’s the real deal about open enrollment Medicare?

Here’s the kicker: Medicare open enrollment doesn’t usually apply to Medigap programs. Why? Because these are only available during your first enrollment period.

That’s not all. 

In 2019, there was another open enrollment date that was created for people that were covered by Medicare Advantage programs. This special period lasts from January 1 to March 31 each year.

This unique enrollment period will let Medicare Advantage patients:

  • Transition to Standard Medicare (Part D plan can be added).
  • Change to another Medicare Advantage program.

But there’s a catch: these enrollees aren’t allowed to choose a Medicare Advantage program for February and then shift to another program in March. 

What’s the deadline for Medicare supplemental insurance?

According to the AARP, the open enrollment period for Medicare supplemental insurance (also known as Medigap) starts on the first day of the month of your 65th birthday. Either that, or the first day that you started Medicare Part B. 

How long does the Medigap open enrollment last?

Typically, you have up to six months to enroll in this Medicare program.

With so many options to come from, it can definitely get a little confusing. Read on to find out more Medicare open enrollment tips.

Medicare Open Enrollment Tips

Are you someone who wants to sign up for the Medicare Advantage program? Then there are a few things that you should know first. You need to meet the following requirements:

  • You have to be signed up for Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B.
  • You have to live in the same service area as your plan.
  • You can’t be diagnosed with End-Stage Renal Disease.

You might be wondering: why can’t I just auto-renew my plan?

The answer is: you can auto-renew your plan as long as you’re already signed up for a Medicare Advantage program or get prescription drugs through the Medicare Part D program.

That means that you don’t have to lift a finger during the annual Medicare open enrollment period!

However, there could be some changes for your premium and benefits from year to year. That’s why it’s essential to look over your coverage before you decide to auto-enroll for the next year.

Is it possible to change your Medicare Advantage coverage after Medicare open enrollment?

Between 2011 and 2018, you literally weren’t able to do this unless you had a special circumstance. 

However, the 21st Century Cures Act of 2019 changed the game for Medicare patients. Thankfully, this revolutionary new law passed last year to help elderly and disabled patients everywhere.

Nowadays, you can switch your Medicare plan between January 1 and March 31 of every year. 

It gets better: You have a three-month window to switch Medicare Advantage programs!

MediCare Changes in 2020

Recently, there was a law passed by Congress that says that all Medicare users have to pay your deductible for Part B plans. Why? Because it will prevent people from taking advantage of their Medicare plans.

Want to know the best part? The Medicare changes in 2020 only apply to:

  • People that have signed up for Medigap Plan C.
  • People that have signed up for Medigap Plan F.

Basically, if you’re not signed up for Medigap Plan C or Medigap Plan F, then you don’t have to worry about any of these changes affecting you. That’s because these plans are the only ones that have a deductible for Part B plans.

Additionally, if you apply for Medicare for the first time on January 1, 2020, then you won’t be able to enroll in Medigap Plan C or Medigap Plan F anymore. Nevertheless, you should be able to qualify for every other Medicare plan.

For those who have put their name down for Medigap Plan C or Medigap Plan F by December 31, 2019, then you’re in luck: you can be “grandfathered” into the same programs for 2020.

Want to know more about Medicare services? It’s always a good idea to do your research before you choose the right Medicare plan for you.

Don’t Miss Your Medicare Enrollment Date

We can’t emphasize this enough: it’s super important to know when your Medicare open enrollment is.

For most Medicare members, you don’t want to miss your Medicare enrollment date from October 15 to December 7.

Worried about Medicare changes for 2020? Have no fear: they only apply to Medicare members that are already signed up for Medigap Plan C or Medigap Plan F.

Looking for a Medicare health care provider? Give us a call to schedule an appointment today!

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