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How Do You Switch from Medicare Advantage to Original Medicare?

For many enrollees who are in Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Part B) or in Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C), there may come a time when you feel that the current coverage you are receiving just isn’t right for your particular health care situation or needs. If this is the case, it may be time to switch to a different plan.

Medicare enrollment cardIf you are currently enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan and you wish to switch into a different Medicare Advantage plan, changing is fairly easy. In this case, you can simply join the new plan of your choice – provided that it is available in your area – during one of the enrollment periods. When you do so, you will be automatically dis-enrolled from your old Medicare Advantage plan as soon as the coverage in your new plan starts.

Moving Back Into Medicare Parts A and B

If, however, you are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan now and you would like to switch back over to coverage in Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Part B), there are some steps that you will need to follow in order to do so. These steps include the following:

  • The first order of business is to determine whether you are allowed to enter into Original Medicare during a Special Enrollment period. Medicare allows enrollees to make changes to their coverage when various events occur in their lives, such as when they move or when they lose other insurance coverage. So, it is important to check with Medicare and see if you qualify for a Special Enrollment period before moving forward.
  • Next, either within a Special or a General Enrollment period, you will need to dis-enroll from your current Medicare Advantage plan. This can be done either by sending the plan a written notice (after which they will contact Medicare), or by contacting Medicare directly. It is always best to provide the Medicare Advantage plan provider at least 30 days notice of your plan cancellation. In most cases, your dis-enrollment date from the Medicare Advantage plan will be the first day of the month following your request. At that time, you should also automatically be enrolled back into Medicare Part A and Part B. Until the effective date of your Medicare Advantage plan dis-enrollment, however, you can continue using the health care providers that are in your Medicare Advantage plan network.
  • If you also want to join Medicare Part D for prescription drug coverage, you should do so during this time. This is because prescription drug coverage is not automatically included with Medicare Parts A and B.
  • Likewise, should you wish to obtain a Medicare Supplement insurance policy in order to cover various copayments and deductibles that are not covered by Medicare, now is the time to do that as well. While Medicare Advantage plans oftentimes pick up many of these charges, Original Medicare typically will require that you pay such expenses out-of-pocket. Therefore, it is a good idea to become familiar with the Medicare Supplement insurance plans that are available and what each plan covers.

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