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Over 1.5 million people currently enrolled in a 2020 Medicare Part D or Medicare Advantage plans will be automatically moved to another 2021 Medicare plan

Category: Annual Medicare Plan Changes
Published on 2020-10-16 14:38:21

Are you being automatically moved to a different Medicare Part D prescription drug plan or Medicare Advantage plan in 2021?

Over 1.5 million people are enrolled in a non-renewing Medicare Advantage plan (MA and MAPD) or non-renewing stand-alone Medicare Prescription drug plan and will be automatically moved ("crosswalked") from their current 2020 Medicare plan to a different 2021 Medicare plan.

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

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.  Members will be automatically "crosswalked" to (or merged into) a new 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 will remain in the Medicare plan and the plan will be discontinued in other areas. 

    In some cases, a discontinued plan will "crosswalk" plan members to a new Medicare plan, but, in other cases, the members of a discontinued 2020 plan will be without coverage if they do not select a new 2021 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 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.

In these situations, members of the Medicare 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.

How many 2020 plan members will be affected by non-renewing Medicare plans for 2021?

  • Over 1.5 million people are being crosswalked to a new Medicare plan.

    Approximately 1,322,700 members in non-renewing Medicare Advantage plans (MA and MAPDs) and an additional 187,000 members in non-renewing 2020 stand-alone Medicare prescription drug plans (PDPs) will be automatically "crosswalked" to new 2020 Medicare plans.

  • Almost 1.3 million people are losing their coverage if they do not select a new Medicare plan.

    In the case of members who will NOT be crosswalked, if they do not actively enroll in a new Medicare Advantage plan, they will be without 2021 coverage, unless they choose a new plan during AEP or use the SAR SEP.

    There are approximately 1.11 million members are currently enrolled in 2020 Medicare Advantage plans that will be terminated in 2021 and another 162,600 members in non-renewing stand-alone Medicare prescription drug plans that will NOT be crosswalked. Read more in our article: https://Q1News.com/869.html.

We will first look at stand-alone Medicare Part D plans (PDPs) and further down in this article, we will discuss Medicare Advantage plans (MAs and MAPDs).
  • 187,200 members in the 35 PDPs (3 different plans) will be crosswalked to a new PDP in 2021. Below is a chart highlighting some of the stand-alone Medicare Prescription Drug plan "crosswalks" for 2021.

    You can review 2021 Medicare prescription drug only plan changes using: PDP-Compare.com/2021.

Examples of 2020 Part D plans being crosswalked into other plans in 2021.

Crosswalked stand-alone Medicare Part D plans (PDPs)
(with the number of plan members impacted)
Plan Name States Members Affected
Mutual of Omaha Rx Value (PDP) members crosswalked to Mutual of Omaha Rx Plus (PDP) in all states 179,132
Prescription Blue Preferred (PDP) members crosswalked to Prescription Blue Premium (PDP) MI 4,190
Blue Cross MedicareRx Plus (PDP) members crosswalked to Blue Cross MedicareRx Value (PDP) OK 3,891

Q1Medicare Medicare Advantage Plan Compare showing annual plan crosswalk

How many people are affected by discontinued or merged 2020 Medicare Advantage plans?
  • 1,322,787 plan members in 337 Medicare Advantage plans will be crosswalked to a new Medicare Advantage plan in 2021.  The vast majority of crosswalks are to similarly named plans, however plan member are still strongly encouraged to review the features of their new plan.

  • An additional 1,110,055 Medicare Advantage plan members in the 370 Medicare Advantage plans terminating at the end of 2020, will find that their 2020 Medicare Advantage plan will not be offered in 2021.  These members will not have coverage in 2021 unless they choose a new plan during AEP or use the SAR SEP.

Bottom Line:  Many counties across the country will see significant changes in their Medicare Advantage plan landscape.  You can review 2021 Medicare Advantage plan changes using our MA-Compare tool found here: MA-Compare.com/2021.

Examples of some of the 2021 Medicare Advantage plan "crosswalks".

Examples of Medicare Advantage plan Reassignments
2020 Medicare Advantage Plan New 2021 Medicare Advantage Plan State(s) Members Affected
UnitedHealthcare The Villages Medicare Advantage 2 (HMO-POS) UnitedHealthcare The Villages Medicare Advantage (HMO) 3 Counties in FL 14,608
WellCare Essential (HMO-POS) WellCare Elite (HMO) 4 Counties in FL 24,243
BCN Advantage HMO-POS Basic (HMO-POS) BCN Advantage Prime Value (HMO-POS) 23 Counties in MI 26,392
Senior Care Plus: Value Rx Enhanced Plan (HMO) Senior Care Plus Essential plan (HMO) 2 Counties in NV 5,492
AARP Medicare Advantage Plan 4 (HMO) AARP Medicare Advantage Plan 3 (HMO) 19 Counties in AL 3,066
Fallon Senior Plan Saver Enhanced Rx (HMO-POS) Fallon Medicare Plus Green HMO (HMO) H9001-030-11 53 Counties in IA 3,362
WellCare Value (HMO-POS) WellCare Preferred (HMO) 53 Counties in AR 1,485

In particular, note the plans in the chart above whose members will be losing their POS feature.

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.

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.