For some folks, Medicare Advantage Plans are a good fit, but others get on a Medicare Advantage Plan and find that they are unhappy with their plan. If this sounds like you, and you’d like to get off of your Medicare Advantage Plan and back onto Original Medicare, you have a few different options depending on your situation.
The easiest time to leave a Medicare Advantage Plan is during the Medicare Annual Election Period, which is every fall from Oct 15th – Dec. 7th. This is the time of year when you can change Part D drug plans, switch from one Medicare Advantage Plan to another, AND -During this time, you can come off of your Medicare Advantage Plan. You can do this by simply enrolling in a Part D drug plan. Medicare won’t let you have BOTH a Medicare Advantage Plan and a Part D drug plan. So, by enrolling in a Medicare Part D Rx Plan during the Annual Election Period, you will automatically be “kicked off” of your Medicare Advantage Plan and put back on original Medicare effective Jan. 1st.
Before you do this however, you will likely want to make sure that you can health qualify for a Medicare Supplement Plan. Original Medicare only pays 80%, so most people get a Medicare Supplement Plan, which pays the 20% that Medicare doesn’t pay. In most cases, if you’re on a Medicare Advantage Plan and you want to switch back to original Medicare , you will have to go through medical underwriting in order to qualify for a Medicare Supplement Plan. Health requirements can vary from one Medigap insurance company to another, so you can give me a call if you have any questions about what it takes to medically qualify for a Medicare Supplement Plan (888) 465-9728. If you want to switch back to Original Medicare during the annual election period in the fall, I recommend trying to get approved for a Medicare Supplement Plan BEFORE you enroll in a Part D plan. That way you’ll be sure to have your Medigap plan approved and ready to go into effect before you get back onto Original Medicare.
Another time that you can leave your Medicare Advantage Plan is during the Medicare Advantage Dis-enrollment Period, which is annually from Jan. 1st – Feb. 14th. During this time you can drop your Medicare Advantage plan – that is what this period is for specifically, it’s for folks that want to drop their Medicare Advantage Plan and get back onto original Medicare. Again, you can do this by simply enrolling in a stand alone Party D drug plan – this will automatically kick you back onto Original Medicare and off of your Advantage Plan. Again, you do typically want to be sure you can health qualify to get a Medicare Supplement plan first before you make the switch.
There are also a few other situations in which you can leave your Medicare Advantage Plan and go back to original Medicare, even if it is not during one of these enrollment periods. And you may NOT need to go through medical underwriting to qualify for a Supplement Plan.
Here are the exceptions, also called “Trial Right” periods:
1. Trial Right period – if you joined a Medicare Advantage Plan when you were first turning 65, and you’ve been on the plan less than 1 year, you can switch back to original Medicare within the first year of being on that plan – and you can automatically qualify for any Medicare supplement plan sold in your state, without medical underwriting.
2. You also have this “Trial Right” is you were on a Medicare Supplement Plan, but you dropped your Medicare Supplement Plan to enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan, and then you want to go back to your Supplement Plan, as long as you’ve had your new Advantage Plan for less than a year – in this case, you have the right to purchase the same Medigap Plan you had with your previous company.
In summary, if you have a Medicare Advantage Plan and you are looking to get OFF of that plan and back onto Original Medicare, there a few different ways to do so, depending on how long you’ve had your plan. If you have any questions about this process, or would like more information on the underwriting requirements for Medicare Supplement Please give me a call (888) 465-9728 – I’d be happy to help.