The 2019 Annual Election Period begins:
OCTOBER 15, 2019
Q: When is Colorado Medicare Annual Election Period for 2019 coverage?
It pays to review your benefit changes and health needs every year and evaluate whether which plan is right for you based upon:
During the Colorado Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) you can make changes to various aspects of your coverage.
- You can also switch from one Medicare Advantage plan to another, or from one Medicare Part D (prescription drug) plan to another.
- You can switch from Original Medicare to Medicare Advantage or vice versa.
- Change from Medicare Advantage back to Original Medicare
- Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, although a late enrollment penalty may apply.
If you want to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, you must meet some basic criteria.
- You must be enrolled in Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B.
- You must live in the plan’s service area.
- You cannot have End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) (some exceptions apply).
Changes to the Medicare Advantage Enrollment Periods in 2019
The Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period (January 1 – February 14 every year) will be replaced with a different arrangement. This starts January 2019, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).
The Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period let you drop your Medicare Advantage plan and return to Original Medicare (Part A and Part B). It also let you sign up for a stand-alone Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan. That is being replaced by the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period.
What’s the new Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period?
In 2019, a new Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period will run from January 1 – March 31 every year. If you’re enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, you’ll have a one-time opportunity to:
- Switch to a different Medicare Advantage plan
- Drop your Medicare Advantage plan and return to Original Medicare, Part A and Part B
- Sign up for a stand-alone Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan (if you return to Original Medicare). Most Medicare Advantage plans include prescription drug coverage already. Usually you can’t enroll in a stand-alone Medicare Prescription Drug plan if you already have a Medicare Advantage plan, but there are some situations where you can. Call your Medicare Advantage plan if you have questions.
- Drop your stand-alone Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan
Can I Switch from Medicare Advantage to Medigap?
There are generally only a few situations that allow you to leave Medicare Advantage and pick up a Medigap plan without being subject to medical underwriting. If you joined a Medicare Advantage plan when you were first eligible for Medicare and you aren’t happy with the plan, you’ll have special rights to buy a Medigap policy if you return to Original Medicare within 12 months of joining. If you are moving to a different state or part of the state and your Medicare Advantage plan does not serve that area, you also have special rights to return to Original Medicare and pick up a Medigap plan.
Remember, If you had a Medigap policy in the past then left it to get an MA plan, when you return to Original Medicare, you might not be able to get the same Medigap policy back or in some cases, any Medigap policy unless you have a “trial right” or “guaranteed issue” right.
Is auto-renewal available?
If you’re already enrolled in a Medicare Part D prescription plan or a Medicare Advantage Plan and you don’t want to make changes to your coverage for 2018, you don’t need to do anything during open enrollment, assuming your current plan will still be available in 2018. If your plan is being discontinued and isn’t eligible for renewal, you will receive a non-renewal notice from your carrier prior (Beginning of October 2017) to open enrollment. If you don’t, it means you can keep your plan without doing anything during open enrollment.
But be aware that your benefits and premium could be changing for 2018. So even if you’re confident that you want to keep your current coverage for the coming year, it’s important to make sure you understand any changes that may apply, and that you’ve double checked to make sure that your current plan is still the best available option. The available plans and what they cover changes from one year to the next, so even if the plan you have now was the best option when you shopped last year, it’s important to verify that again before you lock yourself in for another year.
Enrolling in Original Medicare
If you didn’t sign up for Medicare A and B when you were first eligible, you have a chance to do so each year from January 1 to March 31, with coverage effective July 1. However, You may be subject to a late enrollment penalty. For Medicare Part B, the penalty is an additional 10 percent of the premium for each 12 month period that you were eligible but not enrolled.
NOTE: Most Medicare beneficiaries should received their Annual Notice of Change (ANOC) and Evidence of Coverage (EOC) from their existing Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D plan providers by Sept. 30. CMS will make information available to the public on Medicare.gov in October. The Medicare website is also a tremendous asset for individuals with questions about Medicare rules, timelines, Medicare Part D, etc.
It’s important to carefully review the information sent to you by your plan provider, since this will cover any possible changes. For example, increasing co-pays, changes to drug formularies or changes to treatment coverage. Once open enrollment gets underway, you can make changes that reflect your current health coverage needs.
Request a Personalized Plan Recommendation
Request a Local Licensed Insurance Professioal to contact you to craft a Personalized Insurance Comparison. Call us at 844-252-6400 or Click the Button on the right.
Tips & Disclaimers
- The Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D prescription drug plan data on our site come directly from Medicare and is subject to change.
- Medicare has neither reviewed nor endorsed the information on our site.
- We provide our site for educational purposes and strive to present unbiased and accurate information. However, we are 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.
- 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.