Patients who want to leave their Medicare Advantage plans can switch to traditional Medicare for this year if they act by Wednesday.
The open enrollment period for 2018 plans ended in December. But a disenrollment period from Jan. 1 to Feb. 14 allows patients in Medicare Advantage plans to make a change to the traditional plans, which include Part A hospital coverage and Part B outpatient coverage.
The disenrollment period also gives patients a chance to enroll in Medicare’s Part D drug coverage.
The changes would take effect the first day of the month following the disenrollment request. So the switch for requests received in February would be effective on March 1.
“Their only choice is to return to Part A and B coverage through Original Medicare. They cannot enroll in another Medicare Advantage plan,” according to the Center for Benefits Access, which advises local and state organizations that counsel beneficiaries.
The center also advised those making the switch to consider the various costs associated with original Medicare, such as deductibles, coinsurance and copayments.