Around the Tiers: Dis-enrolling from medicare

By Conor Mooney

January 7, 2014 Updated Jan 7, 2014 at 7:25 PM EDT

(WBNG Binghamton) The dis-enrollment period for the Medicare Advantage Plan runs until Feb 14. What does this mean and how can you dis-enroll? Casondra Hamilton from Action for Older Persons came by to tell us more.

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The following is from Action for Older Persons

The Medicare Advantage Plan (or Medicare Part C) Disenrollment Period will run from January 1, 2014 to February 14, 2014. During this time, Medicare beneficiaries can dis-enroll from a Medicare Advantage Plan and return to Original Medicare. It is important to remember that many Medicare Advantage Plans include prescription drug coverage but Original Medicare does not. If you plan to return to Original Medicare, it is important that you obtain other prescription coverage.

During this Period, a Medicare beneficiary can:
· Dis-enroll from a Medicare Advantage plan and enroll in Original Medicare and a stand-alone Part D (prescription drug plan).
· Take advantage of a Part D Special Enrollment Period to enroll in a prescription drug plan.
· Enroll in a Medicare supplement policy to cover some or all of the costs a beneficiary is responsible for after Medicare pays. This can be done at any time throughout the year and is not mandatory, but many chose to enroll at this time.

During this period, a Medicare beneficiary cannot:
· Switch from one Medicare Advantage Plan to a different Medicare Advantage Plan.
· Switch from Original Medicare into a Medicare Advantage Plan.

Simply, Medicare beneficiaries can only use the Medicare Advantage Annual Disenrollment Period to dis-enroll from a Medicare Advantage Plan and go back to Original Medicare and a stand-alone Part D drug plan. Those enrolled in Original Medicare can enroll in a Medicare Supplement Policy at any time in New York State.

For assistance, Broome County residents may call Action for Older Persons (AOP) at 722-1251 to set up a free, one-on-one appointment with a senior health insurance counselor.