If your Medicare Advantage plan is ending on December 31, you need to make decisions about your Medicare coverage. Here are some steps on what to do when your plan is ending:
1)By October 2, 2012, you should receive a letter from your Medicare Advantage plan, if your plan is ending at the end of the year and will not be available next year. Keep this letter for your own information. This letter may also include a list of other Medicare Advantage plans in your area.
2)In late October/early November 2012, Medicare will send you a blue letter telling you that your Medicare Advantage plan is ending at the end of the year. The letter will also tell you that you can either join another Medicare Advantage plan or choose Original Medicare and a Part D plan.
3)Decide whether you want to sign up for another Medicare Advantage plan or change to Original Medicare. Remember, there are two different ways you can get Medicare coverage. Choose the health coverage that’s right for you and matches your health care needs. Click here for more information on the main differences between Medicare Advantage plans and Original Medicare.
- If you want to join another Medicare Advantage plan, you can sign up for a new plan:
By December 31, 2012, and your coverage will be effective Jan. 1, 2013. Most Medicare Advantage plans include prescription drug coverage. You should make sure that the plan you are considering covers all of the drugs you take. You can look at a list of plans in your area on Medicare Plan Finder at www.medicare.gov or you can call 800-MEDICARE to sign up for the plan.
Remember, because you have Extra Help, you can join, change or drop Medicare private health plan coverage at any time.
If you don’t sign up for another Medicare Advantage plan by December 31, 2012, you will be automatically enrolled in Original Medicare. You will also be automatically assigned a benchmark Part D plan.
- If you want to have Original Medicare, you will be automatically enrolled:
By December 31, 2012, if you don’t enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan as discussed above. Your Original Medicare coverage will begin on January 1, 2013. You can also call 800-MEDICARE to disenroll from your Medicare private health plan and enroll in Original Medicare.
By December 31, 2012, you should sign up for a Part D plan to provide your drug coverage. Your coverage will begin January 1, 2013.
If you don’t sign up for a Part D plan by this time, Medicare will assign you to a benchmark Part D plan and coverage will begin January 1, 2013. You will not have to pay a Part D premium if you have a benchmark Part D plan, since Extra Help will pay the Part D premium for you.
Keep in mind that because you have Extra Help and/or Medicaid, you have a Special Enrollment Period that allows you to change Medicare Advantage or Part D plans once a month.