Most people on Medicare used the annual open enrollment period from October 15-December 7 to choose their Medicare Advantage or Part D drug plan for 2013. What if you missed this opportunity? Well, there’s a special enrollment period is offered for individuals whose 2012 Medicare Advantage or Part D plans did not renew their contract with Medicare for 2013. This period runs through February 28 and offers a one-time opportunity for those affected by non-renewals to choose a plan for 2013. For more information see the “Medicare Advantage Non-Renewal” factsheet in the Medicare Advantage section on the SHIIP website, therightcalliowa.gov.
And for the first time, Medicare has identified “low performing plans.” These plans had an overall rating of less than three stars for three years in a row. Anyone enrolled in one of these gets a special enrollment period once during 2013 to enroll in a plan that has a rating of three or more stars. All Iowans on Medicare qualify for the 5-star special enrollment period. Anyone on Medicare can change to one of these 5-star plans once from now until November 30. Iowans who qualify for Medicaid, the Part D extra help or live in a nursing home qualify for special enrollment periods which allow them to change their coverage monthly all year long.
The Medicare Advantage “disenrollment period” runs from January 1-February 14. If you are in a Medicare Advantage plan you can leave your plan and switch to Original Medicare during this 45 day period. These are a lot of dates and information necessary and important to your Medicare benefits. SHIIP services are located in HCHC in the RSVP Offices. All services are free, confidential and objective. To schedule an appointment, call SHIIP at 385-6739.