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Can I drop my Medicare Advantage plan during the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period (MA-OEP)?


Yes.  The Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period (MA-OEP) runs from January 1st through March 31st.  During the MA-OEP, you are allowed to drop your Medicare Advantage plan (MAPD or MA), return to original Medicare Part A and Part B, and join a stand-alone Medicare Part D prescription drug plan (PDP).

As noted by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the OEP will allow people,
"enrolled in an MA plan, including newly MA-eligible individuals, to make a one-time election to go to another [Medicare Advantage] plan - or to leave their Medicare Advantage plan, join a stand-alone Medicare Part D plan, and return to Original Medicare Part A and Part B."

"For example, an individual enrolled in an MA-PD plan may use the MA-OEP to switch to:

(1) another MA-PD plan;
(2) an MA-only plan; or
(3) Original Medicare [Part A and Part B] with or without a [stand-alone Medicare Part D prescription drug plan] PDP.

The MA-OEP will also allow an individual enrolled in an MA-only plan to switch to:

(1) another MA-only plan;
(2) an MA-PD plan; or
(3) Original Medicare with or without a PDP.
"

"However, this enrollment period does not allow for [Medicare] Part D [PDP] changes for individuals enrolled in Original Medicare, including those with enrollment in stand-alone PDPs."


Reminder about the timing of your enrollment or dis-enrollment during the MA-OEP

When you disenroll from your Medicare Advantage plan, the dis-enrollment begins the first day of the next month after dis-enrollment.  So, if you disenroll from your Medicare Advantage plan on February 10th, your Original Medicare Part A and Part B coverage begins on March 1st. You can also join a stand-alone Medicare Part D prescription drug plan at the same time and your new prescription drug plan will also start on March 1st.


Reminder about your Social Security check premium deductions

The Social Security Administration (SSA) will probably need a little time adjusting your Social Security check deductions if you decide to use the MA-OEP.  So, if you dropped (or changed) your Medicare Advantage plan in January during the MA-OEP and joined another Medicare Advantage plan or a stand-alone Medicare Part D plan (PDP), you may still see payments for your old Medicare Advantage plan deducted in February and maybe even March, then in April, any over-payments (or under-payments) from the February and March Medicare Advantage plan premiums will be reversed and the February and March premium payments for your newly chosen Medicare Advantage or Medicare Part D plan deducted from your Social Security check.


Historical note: More about the old MADP (now replaced by the MA-OEP)

Before 2019, you could drop your Medicare Advantage plan (MA or MAPD) during the annual Medicare Advantage plan Disenrollment Period (or MADP) that ran from January 1st until February 14th of each year.
 
The Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period allowed you the opportunity to leave your Medicare Advantage plan and return back to your Original Medicare Part A and Part B coverage – plus you were allowed to join a stand-alone Medicare Part D prescription drug plan (or PDP).

Similar to the MA-OEP, during the 2018 MADP, you still were allowed to drop the Medicare Advantage plan, return to Original Medicare Part A and Part B and join a stand-alone Medicare Part D prescription drug plan (PDP) - even if you had a Medicare Advantage plan that did not provide prescription drug coverage (MA).

So during the MADP, if you were enrolled in Medicare Advantage plan “XYZ”, you could disenroll from XYZ, go back to your Original Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B, and still join a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan of your choice (even when your Medicare Advantage plan did not provide prescription coverage).

Please remember:
  • Unlike the current MA-OEP - the Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period (MADP) could only be used to drop or cancel your Medicare Advantage plan and could not be used to change to another Medicare Advantage plan.

  • Also during the MADP, if you were enrolled in both a Medicare Advantage plan (MA such as a PFFS plan) and a stand-alone Medicare Part D plan (PDP) - you could disenroll from the MA plan, but could not make a change to your current stand-alone PDP.

  • As with the MA-OEP, during the MADP, if you were enrolled in a stand-alone PDP, but not enrolled in an MA plan, you could not make any change to your current PDP plan or choose to enroll in an MA plan during the MADP unless you could use a Special Enrollment Period.

  • Again, a key difference between the current MA-OEP and the 2018 MADP, is that during the MADP, if you were enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, you were not be allowed to change (but, only drop) Medicare Advantage plans after the close of the Annual or Open Enrollment Period that ends on December 7th – unless you were granted a Special Enrollment Period.  You can click here for more on the Special Enrollment Periods.

  • As is true with the MA-OEP, during the MADP, people who left a Medicare Advantage plan (MA or MAPD) may have chosen to enroll in a Medicare Supplement or Medigap policy providing the person qualified under the terms of the Medicare Supplement policy they wished to purchase.

    Please note: As noted in more detail below, if a person used the MADP to disenroll from a Medicare Advantage plan, they may not have had a Guaranteed Issue right to join a Medicare Supplement (meaning that they may be rejected or subject to medical underwriting with pre-existing condition exclusions) - Guaranteed Issue rights will vary between states.


    Reminder about: The Medicare Supplement Trial Right

    If you joined a Medicare Advantage plan or Programs of All‑inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) when you were first eligible for Medicare Part A at age 65, and within the first year of joining, you decide you want to switch to Original Medicare - you will have a you have a guaranteed issue right to join any Medicare Supplement that is available in your state.

    . . . and the Trial Right (Part II)

    You have a Medicare Supplement guaranteed issue right if... You dropped a Medigap policy to join a Medicare Advantage Plan (or to switch to a Medicare SELECT policy) for the first time, you have been in the Medicare Advantage plan less than a year, and you want to switch back to your Medicare Supplement (or Medigap plan). You have the right to buy the Medigap policy you had before you joined the Medicare Advantage Plan or Medicare SELECT policy, if the same insurance company you had before still sells it.  (If your former Medigap policy is not available, you can buy Medigap Plan A, B, C, F, K, or L that’s sold in your state by any insurance company.)






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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.