-- Robert Preidt
WEDNESDAY, Jan. 5 (HealthDay News) -- People enrolled in
Medicare Advantage private health plans have until Feb. 14 to leave
those plans, but a national consumer group urges a careful review
of options before making any decision.
During what the Medicare agency calls the Medicare Advantage
Disenrollment Period, people who leave a private plan can switch
only to traditional Medicare coverage administered by the federal
"People with Medicare who become unhappy with their Medicare Advantage plan have one more opportunity to change their coverage before being locked in until next fall," Joe Baker, president of the nonprofit Medicare Rights Center, said in a news release from the center. "Because the window is shorter than in past years, consumers should review their coverage options carefully and consider all of the implications of making a change before doing so."
Traditional Medicare does not cover the full cost of care so
many consumers who enroll in traditional Medicare buy supplementary
coverage, called Medigap plans, to help pay out-of-pocket costs.
However, people who switch from a Medicare Advantage plan to
traditional Medicare may be limited in their ability to purchase
supplemental coverage because of variations in state laws,
according to the Medicare Rights Center.
The group advises consumers to call their State Health Insurance
Assistance Program to find out if they can buy Medigap
It also warns that some people who leave a private plan may have
to join a stand-alone Medicare prescription drug plan to maintain
When choosing a drug coverage plan, the group says, people
The Medicare Rights Center has more about
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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