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New open enrollment period ends March 31 for current Medicare Advantage plan enrollees

The new Medicare Advantage open enrollment period available to current Medicare Advantage enrollees runs from January 1 through March 31, 2019.

This means time is limited for your current Medicare Advantage clients to use this new enrollment period to make a one-time plan change, including:

  • Switching to a different Medicare Advantage plan
  • Dropping their Medicare Advantage plan and returning to Original Medicare, Parts A and B
  • Signing up for a stand-alone Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan, if they are returning to Original Medicare

The open enrollment period is not available to beneficiaries covered under:

  • Original Medicare
  • Medicare Cost, PACE, and other types of Medicare health plans

Although the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) prohibits plan sponsors, brokers, and agents from knowingly targeting or sending unsolicited marketing materials to any Medicare Advantage enrollee or Part D enrollee during the open enrollment period, it doesn’t prohibit them from checking with clients to see if they are happy with the plan they either retained or changed to during the annual open enrollment period.

It’s recommended to check if enrollees qualify for a special enrollment period outside of the annual enrollment period. If they don’t qualify, there is still the option to use their one-time open enrollment period opportunity to make a change, but they will need to act soon. The open enrollment period for current Medicare Advantage enrollees ends March 31, 2019.

The new open enrollment period for individual Medicare Advantage plans for the newly eligible

The new open enrollment period is also available to those newly eligible for a Medicare Advantage individual health plan throughout the year.

Individuals who are newly eligible and enroll in an Medicare Advantage plan have an open enrollment period during the first 3 months in which they have both Medicare Parts A and B. For example, if an individual is eligible for Parts A and B effective June 1, 2019, and enrolls in a Medicare Advantage plan, they may use the Medicare Advantage open enrollment period from June 1 to August 31.

During that period, enrollees may make one of the following changes:

  • They may disenroll from their current Medicare Advantage plan and switch to any Medicare Advantage plan they are eligible to join.
  • They may switch to a Medicare Advantage plan within the same Medicare Advantage organization.
  • They may disenroll completely from Medicare Advantage and go to Original Medicare.

Questions?

If you have questions about the new Medicare Advantage open enrollment period, please call the Kaiser Permanente Medicare Sales and Service team at 1-800-581-8252.

All plans offered and underwritten by Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Washington or Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Washington Options, Inc.

© 2019 Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Washington