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How You Can Join or Switch Medicare Plan

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 How You Can Join or Switch Medicare Plan
How You Can Join or Switch Medicare Plan

How You Can Join or Switch Medicare Plan

Generally, there are certain rules in place whenever you enter any kind of agreement and same holds true for insurance plans as well. Hence, registering or switching Medicare Plans as per your wishes is not possible but there are certain rules that can allow you to do so that too without having to undergo health screening. Taking into consideration this important fact whenever you start to contemplate about enrolling into a Medicare plan is must. These rules have been put in place to restrict people from registering with more comprehensive plan only when they are in dire need of a medical attention as well as coverage. Understand, it's been done because if people have the option to switch any time they wish then they would be staying with their original Medicare till they are healthy and move on to better policy if they develop illness that needs expensive prescription drugs.

Deadlines and geographical restrictions might also prevent you from joining or switching plan whenever you like. However, if you reside within the service area of your plan, then you are eligible to join Medicare Advantage Plan or Health Plan. To avail benefits from these types of plans you need to live within geographical boundaries where these plans are offered by your provider as they usually cover specific physicians and hospitals only. Also, before signing up with any of these plans, you should be first enrolled into Medicare Part A and Part B. Your chances of getting Medicare Advantage Plan are slim, if you have a kidney failure and require dialysis or transplant.

You become eligible to sign up for a Medicare plan when you first become eligible for the plan that will start 3 months before the month you turn 65 or last 3 months after the month you have turned 65. If you are signing up for Medicare plan due to some disability then join after 24th month of your cash disability benefit. Otherwise, you will not be considered eligible to join the plan until November 15, which will for the calendar year. If you are considering joining any new plan outside of these times frames then you might be required to go through series of health questions and you may or may not be declared eligible to enroll.

Here's look into some exceptions to the rules:

  • If for whatever reason you move to another geographical area outside the service coverage of your Medicare Advantage Plan provider, his makes you eligible to make a switch to a new plan as per your new location.
  • In case, there are no Medicare Advantage Plans available in the new area where you have relocated to, then you have the option to enroll into a Medicare Supplemental policy or any other type of Medicare plan, available in the new area.
  • Having either Original Medicare Plan, Medicare Cost Plan or a Medicare Private fee-for-Service Plan, makes you eligible to join Medicare Prescription Drug Plan. Usually, you are allowed to enroll in one kind of Medicare plan at any given time. You will automatically lose membership of your current Medicare plan, if you enroll in another plan. Same rules apply on prescription drug plans as well.

If you are among those who have a Medicare plan that covers prescription drug and you don't enroll in different plan by June 30th, then you might not be able to move to other plan with prescription drug plan. 1 percent penalty could be charged to you for late enrollment. But you can join or switch plan whenever you like, if you have state provided full Medicare coverage.

Whenever, you start considering about either joining or switching Medciare plan, its best to explore all options available to you in your area. You can visit to compare quotes from different insurance companies.

As Medigap policy holder, you will be given an option to join Medicare Advantage or any other Medicare Health plan, but you will have to pay your monthly premium payments on these. Also, you mightn't be able to get many benefits from it while holding Medicare Advantage or any other Medicare Health plan as these two covers almost every major medical expense.

Remember, your Medigap plan will not be covering costs of co-payments and deductibles you will have to pay to your other plans. Also, if your Medigap plan covers prescription drugs and other plans cover this area as well, then you will have to drop prescription drugs from your Medigap plan listing. This reduces your premium but you might not be able to enroll back into Medigap plan if you drop it altogether.

But if you get a Medicare Advantage plan or any other Medicare health plan when you become eligible at the age of 65, then you might be able to get your old Medicare plan back or you could simply purchase a new one, if you had left within the year of buying previous plan. You can also join Medicare Prescription Drug Plan at that time.

If you are already insured under union or employer group insurance plan and you also ends up joining Medicare Advantage Plan, then maybe you still will be eligible to take Medicare coverage alongside other plans.

Circumstances that can give you opportunity to change plans are:

  • From November 15 to December 31 of every year, you have the option to change your present plan. This period is usually known as "open enrollment" and changes are for the calendar year.
  • You have the option to call your insurance company and ask for information on what are other options available to you.
  • Or you could simply switch your coverage to some other insurance company. You can make your choice keeping these circumstances in mind.

You must contact and notify your insurance company if you are considering cancelling your present Medicare Advantage plan and want to switch to Medigap policy. Remember, enrolling in a Medigap policy without informing your insurance provider, wouldn't automatically result into cancellation of your Advantage Plan. Also, prescription drug coverage is not available on Medigap policies since January 1, 2006. But switching from one Medicare Advantage plan to another could automatically result in cancellation of old plan. Hence, it's advisable to inform your insurance company before switching to new plan.

Your present Medicare plan provider will inform you via letter about your options if your plan doesn't cover area you live in. In such cases, you might have two options, either you will become eligible to switch to another plan or you will become eligible to join the Original Medicare. These rules also apply if your insurance provider either pulls out of your service area or withdraw from the Medicare program. You will automatically be returned to your Original Medicare plan, if you don't purchase another Medicare Advantage Plan or other Medicare health Plan.

In case, there's no other Medicare plan is available in your area and your Medicare plan pulls out of your service area as well, then you might be allowed to keep your benefits provided under your plan. Even if you are allowed to keep benefits, still you will have to travel to area, to contact physician/hospital, where your plan still works or least its participating health care provider's network works.

Check to compare insurance quotes from various.

How You Can Join or Switch Medicare Plan

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