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Changing Medicare Coverage for SeniorsWhen caring for an elderly, it is important to make sure that the senior’s current Medicare coverage is still meeting his or her health needs. Remember that every fall, there is always an opportunity to change the current Medicare health and prescription drug coverage. The Annual Coordinated Election Period runs from November 15 through December 31 every year.

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Be sure to help the senior you are caring for review his or her current Medicare health and prescription drug coverage to know whether it meets the senior’s current health needs. If the current Medicare coverage meets the senior’s health needs and no further changes are needed, there is nothing to be done. However, if the senior’s current Medicare coverage needs to be changed, you will have to make the changes during certain time, which will depend on the type of Medicare coverage the senior wants to change.

Here are the dates to remember when it comes to changing Medicare Plans and Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage:

Dates to Remember When Changing Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage (Part D)

  • Seniors with Medicare are allowed to add Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage, known as Part D or switch to other Medicare Drug Plans between November 15 to December 31 each year.
  • For seniors that are adding Medicare prescription drug coverage or switching Medicare drug plans, the Medicare prescription drug coverage will begin on January 1 of the following year. Remember, the plan needs to get the enrollment request by December 31 in order to qualify.


Dates to Remember When Changing Medicare Advantage Plans:

  • Seniors with Medicare can join a Medicare Advantage Plan or can switch Medicare plans between November 15 to December 31 of each year.
  • When changed, coverage for the new Medicare Plan will begin on January 1 of the following year. Remember, the plan needs to get the request for the enrollment by December 31 to qualify.
  • The senior with Medicare can also make changes between January 1 to March 31 of each year. However, only seniors who have Medicare prescription Drug Coverage (Part D) are allowed to switch to a plan with prescription drug coverage. Please note that the senior with Medicare can not drop a plan with prescription drug coverage during this period.

In most case, seniors must stay enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan or Medicare Prescription Drug Plan for the whole calendar year. But the following are exceptions to the rule:

  • When a senior moves out of the plan’s service area
  • When a senior has both Medicare and Medicaid
  • When a senior qualifies for extra help to pay for prescription drugs
  • When a senior is living in a nursing home

Before making the decision to change the senior’s current Medicare Coverage, be sure to check and learn more about the other available Medicare coverage plans.

 


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