Covering the Bases: What to do when your Medicare Advantage plan will no longer be offered – CapitalGazette.com
I just received notice that my Medicare Advantage plan will no longer be offered for 2018. What do I need to do?
If you have received notice that your Medicare Advantage plan is longer offering coverage in your area you have two options: return to Original Medicare, or select another Medicare Advantage plan.
Technically, you have until Feb. 28 to make a decision. However, it is recommended you make your decision prior to Dec. 7 to have complete coverage by Jan. 1.
Option 1: If you decide to return to Original Medicare, you will want to consider enrolling in both a Medigap plan and a Medicare Part D drug plan. Read the notice you received from your Medicare Advantage plan; it should indicate that you have a “guarantee issue right” for certain Medigap plans (Medicare supplemental insurance). Medigap plans are standardized plans designed to help cover your out-of-pocket costs for Original Medicare parts A (hospital) and B (medical).
You will want to read the booklet, “Choosing a Medigap,” to better understand your options. This booklet is available online at www.medicare.gov. You may also call 1-800-MEDICARE to request a copy. You will also want to contact the Maryland Insurance Administration at 1-800-492-6116 (or visit www.mdinsurance.state.md.us) for a listing of premium costs for Medigaps plans sold in Maryland.
In addition to considering a Medigap plan, you will want to consider a Medicare Part D drug plan to cover your out-patient prescription drug costs. To compare your Medicare Part D options, visit www.medicare.gov and use the Find Health and Drug Plan tool. You may also call Medicare to have a customer service representative run a Medicare Part D comparison and explain your coverage options.
Option 2: Select another Medicare Advantage Plan. Medicare Advantage plans are private companies that have contracted with Medicare to offer the basic Medicare benefits. Medicare Advantage plans may also have added benefits such as vision, dental and hearing services.
To compare your options for Medicare Advantage plans for 2018, you will want to visit www.medicare.gov and use the Find Health and Drug Plan tool. Pay special attention to how you must use a Medicare Advantage plan. Typically, these plans have a contracted network of doctors and hospitals. These plans will have out-of-pockets costs that will be your responsibility. Request a summary of benefits for any plan you are considering and read the information carefully. Medicare Advantage plans typically cover prescription medicines; make sure you understand the out-of-pocket costs for your particular medicines.
For the most up-to-date information about your Medicare options in 2018, visit www.medicare.gov. You are also advised to read your “Medicare and You 2018” booklet. If you did not receive this booklet in the mail, you may download a copy at www.medicare.gov or call 1-800-MEDICARE for a copy.
Amy Rubino is the director of the Senior Health Insurance Assistance Program and the Senior Medicare Patrol for the Anne Arundel County Department of Aging and Disabilities. You may contact either program at 410-222-4257 or firstname.lastname@example.org.