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Over 1.1 million people are currently enrolled in non-renewing 2020 Medicare Advantage plans and may lose their 2021 Medicare plan coverage

Category: Annual Medicare Plan Changes
Published on 2020-10-16 14:39:00

Is your 2020 Medicare Part D prescription drug plan or Medicare Advantage plan still being offered in 2021?

Over 1.1 million people are currently enrolled in a 2020 Medicare Advantage plan (MA and MAPD) that is not renewing its contract with the government and these people may lose their 2021 Medicare plan coverage - unless they enroll into another Medicare plan.

What are non-renewing Medicare plans?

Each year, Medicare plans have the option of not renewing the plan's contract with Medicare.  When this happens, the Medicare plan can be discontinued across the country or in a specific service area (such as a state or ZIP code).

If a Medicare beneficiary is enrolled in a non-renewing Medicare plan, they may be without Medicare plan coverage for the entire year (all of 2021) unless they enroll in a different Medicare plan during the annual Open Enrollment Period (the AEP stars October 15th and continues through December 7th) or have access to a Special Enrollment Period allowing them to change plans outside of the AEP.

Why is your 2020 Medicare plan not offered in 2021?

Your 2020 Medicare plan may be discontinued (non-renewing) due to several different reasons:
  • Plan Consolidation

    When multiple Medicare plans from one company are brought together into one plan, or a Medicare Part D plan from one company may be merged together with a Medicare Part D plan from another company; plan members will be automatically "crosswalked" to (or merged into) a new 2021 Medicare plan.  The good news is that the members do not lose coverage, but are just moved to another plan.  You can click here to read more about Medicare plans that are "crosswalking" 1.5 million people from a 2020 Medicare plan to another 2021 Medicare plan.

  • Service Area Reduction (SAR)

    Medicare plans have the option to discontinue their plan in specific service areas of the country.  The Medicare plan's affected service area may be an entire state, specific counties, or ZIP codes.  It is possible that plan members in some areas of the country will remain in the Medicare plan, but the plan will be discontinued in other areas.

    As noted above, in some cases, a discontinued plan will "crosswalk" plan members to a new Medicare plan, but, in other cases, the members of a discontinued plan will be without coverage next year if they do not select a new Medicare Part D or Medicare Advantage plan.  Remember, there is a Service Area Reduction Special Enrollment Period (SAR SEP) starting on December 8th and continuing through the end of February allowing you the possibility of enrolling in a new 2021 Medicare plan after the December 7th close of the annual Open Enrollment Period (AEP).

  • Terminated Medicare Plans

    Sometimes an insurance company will choose to terminate a specific Medicare plan or it is possible that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will terminate an insurance company's contract and the Medicare plan will no longer be offered. All members of a terminated 2020 Medicare plan will need to choose a new Medicare plan or be without coverage in 2021.

How many 2020 plan members will lose coverage in 2021 due to non-renewing Medicare plans?
  • Almost 1.3 million people are losing their coverage if they do not select a new Medicare plan.

    Approximately 1.11 million people are currently enrolled in 2020 Medicare Advantage plans that will be terminated in 2021 and an additional 162,600 people are enrolled in 18 non-renewing stand-alone Medicare prescription drug plans (PDPs). These plan members will NOT be crosswalked into another plan and will be without 2021 coverage if they do not actively enroll in a new Medicare Advantage or Medicare Part D plan.

How will you know that your Medicare plan is being discontinued?

When a plan is no longer being offered in 2021, existing Medicare plan members of a Medicare Part D plan will be notified in their Annual Notice of Change (ANOC) letter about the plan termination or consolidation - and be given the option to join another plan during the annual Open Enrollment Period.

Again, if current plan members do not join another Medicare plan, they may find themselves without 2021 Medicare plan coverage.

Need a faster way to see if your Medicare Part D or Medicare Advantage plan is changing in 2021?

Our PDP-Compare and MA-Compare tools allow you to compare annual 2020/2021 changes in all stand-alone Medicare Part D prescription drug plans (PDPs) or Medicare Advantage plans (MAs or MAPDs) across the country showing changes in monthly premiums and plan design changes, as well as changes in co-payments or co-insurance rates for different drug tiers along with the most recent Medicare quality star ratings.

Both the PDP-Compare and MA-Compare also show the Medicare Part D plans or Medicare Advantage plans that will be merged, discontinued, or added in 2021.

More about the 2020 Medicare Advantage plan (MA and MAPD) plan terminations
  • 370 Medicare Advantage plans will be discontinued in 2021 without crosswalking members to other plans.

    In total, 1,110,055 Medicare Advantage plan members in the 370 Medicare Advantage plans will need to select another 2021 Medicare plan or possibly be without Medicare plan coverage through 2021.
Bottom Line:  Many counties across the country will see significant changes in their Medicare Advantage plan landscape.  As an example of how Medicare Advantage plans can change on a local level,  Monroe County, PA will lose 11 of the 50 currently offered 2020 Medicare Advantage plans in 2021 (although, in the same Pennsylvania county, 7 new 2021 Medicare Advantage plans will be introduced).

Across the country, here are counties with the highest number of non-renewing Medicare Advantage plans.

Not sure where to begin with all this information?

Medicare beneficiaries can telephone Medicare at 1-800-633-4227, speak with a Medicare representative, and learn more about their 2020 Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage plan options.

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Tips & Disclaimers
  • The Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D prescription drug plan data on our site comes directly from Medicare and is subject to change.
  • Medicare has neither reviewed nor endorsed the information on our site.
  • We provide our Q1Medicare.com site for educational purposes and strive to present unbiased and accurate information. However, Q1Medicare is not intended as a substitute for your lawyer, doctor, healthcare provider, financial advisor, or pharmacist. For more information on your Medicare coverage, please be sure to seek legal, medical, pharmaceutical, or financial advice from a licensed professional or telephone Medicare at 1-800-633-4227.
  • We are an independent education, research, and technology company. We are not affiliated with any Medicare plan, plan carrier, healthcare provider, or insurance company. We are not compensated for Medicare plan enrollments. We do not sell leads or share your personal information.
  • Benefits, formulary, pharmacy network, provider network, premium and/or co-payments/co-insurance may change on January 1 of each year. Our PDP-Compare.com and MA-Compare.com provide highlights of annual plan benefit changes.
  • The benefit information provided is a brief summary, not a complete description of benefits. For more information contact the plan.
  • Limitations, copayments, and restrictions may apply.
  • We make every effort to show all available Medicare Part D or Medicare Advantage plans in your service area. However, since our data is provided by Medicare, it is possible that this may not be a complete listing of plans available in your service area. For a complete listing please contact 1-800-MEDICARE (TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048), 24 hours a day/7 days a week or consult www.medicare.gov.
  • When enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan, you must continue to pay your Medicare Part B premium.
  • Medicare beneficiaries with higher incomes may be required to pay both a Medicare Part B and Medicare Part D Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amount (IRMAA). Read more on IRMAA.
  • Medicare Advantage plans that include prescription drug coverage (MAPDs) are considered Medicare Part D plans and members with higher incomes may be subject to the Medicare Part D Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amount (IRMAA), just as members in stand-alone Part D plans. In certain situations, you can appeal IRMAA.
  • You must be enrolled in both Medicare Part A and Part B to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan. Members may enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan only during specific times of the year. Contact the Medicare plan for more information.
  • If you are enrolled in a Medicare plan with Part D prescription drug coverage, you may be eligible for financial Extra Help to assist with the payment of your prescription drug premiums and drug purchases. To see if you qualify for Extra Help, call: 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048, 24 hours a day/ 7 days a week or consult www.medicare.gov; the Social Security Office at 1-800-772-1213 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. TTY users should call, 1-800-325-0778; or your state Medicaid Office.
  • Medicare evaluates plans based on a 5-Star rating system. Star Ratings are calculated each year and may change from one year to the next.
  • A Medicare Advantage Private Fee-for-Service plan (PFFS) is not a Medicare supplement plan. Providers who do not contract with the plan are not required to see you except in an emergency.
  • Disclaimer for Institutional Special Needs Plan (SNP): This plan is available to anyone with Medicare who meets the Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) level of care and resides in a nursing home.
  • Disclaimer for Dual Eligible (Medicare/Medicaid) Special Needs Plan (SNP): This plan is available to anyone who has both Medical Assistance from the State and Medicare. Premiums, co-pays, co-insurance, and deductibles may vary based on the level of Extra Help you receive. Please contact the plan for further details.
  • Disclaimer for Chronic Condition Special Needs Plan (SNP): This plan is available to anyone with Medicare who has been diagnosed with the plan specific Chronic Condition.
  • Medicare MSA Plans combine a high deductible Medicare Advantage Plan and a trust or custodial savings account (as defined and/or approved by the IRS). The plan deposits money from Medicare into the account. You can use this money to pay for your health care costs, but only Medicare-covered expenses count toward your deductible. The amount deposited is usually less than your deductible amount, so you generally have to pay out-of-pocket before your coverage begins.
  • Medicare MSA Plans do not cover prescription drugs. If you join a Medicare MSA Plan, you can also join any separate (stand-alone) Medicare Part D prescription drug plan
  • There are additional restrictions to join an MSA plan, and enrollment is generally for a full calendar year unless you meet certain exceptions. Those who disenroll during the calendar year will owe a portion of the account deposit back to the plan. Contact the plan provider for additional information.
  • Medicare beneficiaries may enroll through the CMS Medicare Online Enrollment Center located at www.medicare.gov.
  • Medicare beneficiaries can file a complaint with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services by calling 1-800-MEDICARE 24 hours a day/7 days or using the medicare.gov site. Beneficiaries can appoint a representative by submitting CMS Form-1696.