Approaching the Annual Election Period starting October 15th, most Medicare beneficiaries think about keeping their existing plan or changes they could make for the following year. However, you may find yourself in an unexpected position if your Medicare Advantage or Part D plan doesn’t renew its contract with Medicare for the upcoming year. If this does happen, you’ll have access to a Medicare Plan Non-Renewal Special Enrollment Period that allows you to choose a new plan. It’s important to understand how this SEP works so you don’t have gaps in coverage.
When your Medicare Advantage Plan or Medicare Prescription Drug Plan’s contract with Medicare isn’t renewed, they are required to notify you by October 1st. This can be stressful at first, but your current coverage will continue through the end of the current calendar year.
When you can make changes:
Your Medicare Plan Non-Renewal SEP lasts from December 8th of the current year through the last day of February of the next year. This gives you more time to compare options so you can switch to a new Medicare Advantage or Part D plan that suits your needs. Need assistance comparing options? Our friendly, licensed agents have the tools to help, contact us here.
Keep in mind:
AEP is October 15th through December 7th, beneficiaries still have this election period and can therefor make changes to their current plan as soon as October 15th.
When the new coverage will start:
When you decide to take advantage of the Medicare Plan Non-Renewal SEP, the effective start date of your new coverage depends on when you enroll:
- Enrollments from October 15th through December 31st: your coverage will become effective on January 1st of the following year.
- Enrollments in January: your coverage will become effective on February 1st.
- Enrollments in February: your coverage will start on March 1st.
Your current plan’s coverage will end January 1st. If you don’t choose a new plan before December 31st, you could have gaps in your coverage – including going without prescription drug coverage.
Medicare Plan Non-Renewal SEP Example:
Greg is enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plan and on October 1st receives a plan non-renewal notice from his current carrier. This notice lets him know he must choose a new plan for the coming year which he can choose during the Medicare Plan Non-Renewal Special Enrollment Period between December 8th and February 28th. On December 20th, Greg chooses to enroll in a new MAPD which will be effective January 1st. Greg could also have chosen to enroll in a Medicare Supplement with no medical underwriting required.
It can feel overwhelming if you receive a plan non-renewal notice from your Medicare plan carrier! You want to make sure you know what you need to do, what changes you can make, and when you should enroll in a new plan, so you don’t have gaps in coverage. Our friendly, licensed agents are ready to help you navigate this situation and many more! Contact us here.