Medicare plans are designed to provide health insurance coverage to those Americans in need of medical care. However, while most plans can be changed throughout a lifetime, there are some specific instances when you will not be allowed to switch plans. visit here
Insurance companies usually put their best set of coverage for you and charge a hefty price for it. Your health insurance will only be your priority, but if you want to take advantage of the convenience and advantages offered by some plans, here are the instances when it would be wise to switch.
The circumstances that make it impossible for Medicare beneficiaries to change their plan include staying in nursing homes or hospitals and waiting for services. Additionally, no Medicare beneficiary can switch plans while they’re still on sick leave or still collecting benefits from their old plan.
The Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP)
The AEP is when Medicare beneficiaries have to sign up with Medicare plan and begin receiving the benefits they’ll be entitled to from that plan. A Medicare beneficiary who doesn’t sign up for a Medicare plan by a specific date will not be covered by that plan for the duration of their life. For anyone over age 65, this means being on your own for all medical care and being liable for any costs associated with this care.
However, younger beneficiaries should contact their doctor or local Plan Administrator to find out if there’s an Extension of Coverage (EC) in effect that would allow them to delay enrollment until a later date. Changing Medicare plans during the AEP is not allowed for beneficiaries in specialized treatment centers, psychiatric hospitals, or any other institution run by a third party.
During this period, beneficiaries should start looking for ways to secure the services they need from their current plan and look into options that may make it possible to switch plans during the AEP. For instance, some plans have special provisions that allow individuals to switch out of one plan into another without making any changes.
The Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period (MOEP)
The MOEP is the period when individuals can change their Medicare plan when they’re covered on the Medicare Advantage Plan. Unlike the AEP, participants in a Medicare Advantage plan can switch plans at any time. To change to a different Medicare plan during this period, beneficiaries must contact most of their health care providers and tell them that they want to switch plans. Beneficiaries who are not interested in switching their plans should feel free to continue holding onto the coverage from their current plan until after the end of the MOEP.
Beneficiaries interested in switching their plan during this period should be sure to contact the plan they want to switch to and find out if their new plan accepts Medicare Advantage One Part C (MAPC) or Medicare Advantage One Plus (MAP+). In many cases, beneficiaries will be better off finding a comprehensive care organization or an HOPD (health maintenance organization) instead of a traditional Medicare Advantage Plan.