For seniors who have an Advantage Plan, there’s already an enrollment period in place: January 1 to March 31. That’s when you can make a change. If you select coverage based on incorrect information provided to you, the Medicare program has a process in place to request a special enrollment period when you would be able to change your plan.
CNBC’s recent article, “Medicare open enrollment ends soon. What to do if you picked the wrong coverage,” explains that the fall enrollment period ran from October 15 until December 7. That was the time when you are able to make certain changes to your Medicare coverage, for January 1, 2020.
If you didn’t take any action, you’re automatically enrolled in your same 2019 plan. However, you may be able to change your coverage in 2020, depending on your situation.
Because of some reported issues with the revamped Medicare.gov Plan Finder, there’s also a possibility that you’ll see something about your coverage that isn’t suitable, if you used that online tool.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has addressed all reported problems related to drug pricing. However, the concern is that seniors who didn’t discover an issue at the time will realize it later, when their prescription costs more than they believed it would.
If your choice was based on faulty information, you might be granted a special enrollment period (typically two months) to change your coverage.
“As is the case every year, our call center representatives and staff caseworkers can help beneficiaries throughout the year, if they believe they made the wrong plan choice because of inaccurate or misleading information,” according to a recent blog post by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
“This process isn’t new, but this year we’re doubling down on ensuring that it’s a simple and painless experience for beneficiaries,” the post says, providing 1-800-MEDICARE for those who might need help.
Medicare officials say it’s too early to determine if the worries about the Plan Finder will pan out.
Even if you’re happy with your 2019 coverage, changes made from year to year could affect your premium, copays, and deductibles, along with in-network providers and pharmacies. Depending on where you’re living, new coverage options could be available that weren’t in the past. Speak with an estate planning lawyer if you need help.
Reference: CNBC (December 3, 2019) “Medicare open enrollment ends soon. What to do if you picked the wrong coverage”