Medicare Open Enrollment Period
The Medicare Open Enrollment Period (OEP) runs from January 1 through March 31 every year. There are specific changes that a Medicare beneficiary may choose to make during this time. Any change request will take have an effective date of the first of the next month. For example, a change made during the month of January will have a Feb 1 effective date, Feb for March 1 and March for April 1.
Plan changes that are available during OEP
There are some specific changes that can be made. As a result, you can do the following
- Change from a Medicare Advantage plan to another Medicare Advantage plan. Going from MA to MAPD or the other way around is allowed
- Change from a Medicare Advantage plan back to original Medicare, a Medicare supplement and a Medicare Part D plan.
Changes not allowed during the Medicare Open Enrollment Period
- You cannot change from a Medicare supplement to an MAPD plan
- You cannot change from one stand alone drug plan to another stand alone drug plan.
How to make the plan change using the Medicare open enrollment period
The change is made by the new plan application. For example if changing from one advantage plan to another, the new application needs to be checked off as “change during OEP” or check the OEP box. Once the new application goes in it will automatically disenroll the member from the current MA or MAPD plan. If changing from MAPD to a supplement and PDP, it would be the PDP plan that disenrolls the member from the MAPD plan. Medicare supplements do not require the OEP election. You can have a member apply for a supplement the first of any month all year. Keep in mind, the supplement will likely be subject to underwriting in all states except NY, CT, MA and ME.