Medicare Open Enrollment for 2014 Has Begun

Posted on October 15, 2013

If you weren’t already aware by all of the commercials and ads, the open enrollment period for 2014 runs from October 15-December 7, 2013. This time frame also provides the opportunity to switch providers for your comprehensive health and drug coverage.1

There are three periods in which Medicare beneficiaries can either enroll or dis-enroll in forms of coverage:

  •  October 15 through December 7: Open enrollment period. You can elect to leave Original Medicare (Parts A and B) for a Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C) and change your prescription drug coverage (Part D). You may also elect to leave a Part C plan and go back to Parts A and B during this period.1,2
  • December 8, 2013: Annual enrollment period begins for 5-star plans. As you probably know, Part C and Part D plans are assigned ratings. Beginning December 8, 2013 and ending November 30, 2014, a window opens for you to enroll in a 5-star Part C or Part D plan. You can do this once per 365 days. Visit www.medicare.gov/find-a-plan to find the 5 star plans.2,3
  • January 1-February 14: Dis-enrollment period. If you join a Part C plan in late 2013 and decide you no longer want to be in the plan, you can dis-enroll from that Medicare Advantage plan in this window of time and go back to Original Medicare with a stand-alone Prescription Drug Plan (Part D).2,3

In case you wondered if you have to enroll in Medicare through the new health insurance exchanges, the answer is you do not as Medicare isn’t part of that. You don’t have to make any changes to your Medicare coverage because of the implementation of the exchanges, and your Medicare benefits won’t change as a result of them, whether you have Original Medicare or a Medicare Advantage plan through an HMO or PPO.4

Every fall, Medicare plans mail out Annual Notice of Change (ANOC) letters to their plan members. In order to determine if your current plan is still right for you and your medical care needs, you should use this notice. If you didn’t receive a letter in September, make sure to contact your plan.5

For more information, feel free to check out the slides from a recent Medicare presentation for our clients. If you need personal assistance, we urge you to contact your local council on aging. Happy enrolling!

Sources

  1. cms.gov/Center/Special-Topic/Open-Enrollment-Center.html  
  2. medicare.gov/sign-up-change-plans/when-can-i-join-a-health-or-drug-plan/five-star-enrollment/5-star-enrollment-period.html
  3. medicare.gov/sign-up-change-plans/when-can-i-join-a-health-or-drug-plan/when-can-i-join-a-health-or-drug-plan.html#collapse-3192
  4. q1medicare.com/PartD-Important-Dates-To-RememberPartD.php
  5. medicare.gov/forms-help-and-resources/mail-about-medicare/plan-annual-notice-of-change.html

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