If you decide to change from an MA plan to traditional Medicare for next year: You need to drop your current plan at the end of the year. Call the plan to cancel your enrollment—you’ll probably need to fill out a form. Or call the Medicare help line at 1-800-633-4227 to say you wish to transfer to traditional Medicare. From January 1, you’ll automatically be in the traditional program and should use your red, white, and blue Medicare card at doctors’ offices and other providers.
If you enroll in a stand-alone Part D drug coverage plan: You must enroll in a plan before the end of the year, with coverage beginning January 1. Enrolling in a drug plan will also automatically end coverage from your current MA plan at the end of the year.
Patricia Barry is a senior editor at the AARP Bulletin.