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5 Reasons to Consider Changing Your Medicare Advantage Plan

Posted on December 14, 2021 by Kyle Walton

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5. To address unknown changes to your current plan

4. To save money

3. To access your preferred doctors

2. To lower drug costs

1. To accommodate your healthcare needs

The Importance of Having the Right Medicare Advantage Plan

For many seniors and certain disabled individuals, exploring the wide world of Medicare health insurance can be a stressful and overwhelming experience. For this reason, many simply choose one Medicare Advantage plan upon initial enrollment and never look back.

Usually, Medicare Advantage (also known as Medicare Part C) plans will automatically renew each year if you don’t take any action. While this may seem convenient on the surface, it could cause difficulties for your healthcare management in the future if your current Medicare Advantage plan isn’t truly the best fit for you.

Reviewing your Medicare Advantage benefits each year is a smart and responsible way to stay informed about your health insurance coverage. If you find that there is a problem with your coverage, or if you begin to feel that your current benefits simply don’t make the most sense for you, you may want to consider changing your Medicare Advantage plan. The best time to make these changes is during the 2022 Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period.

Understanding the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period

The Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period (OEP) is the only time of the calendar year (outside of rare Special Enrollment Period circumstances) when you will be able to go through with changing your Medicare Advantage plan to another. The Medicare Advantage OEP runs from January 1st through March 31st at the start of each new year.

During Medicare Advantage OEP, beneficiaries are freely able to take the following actions:

  • Switch from one Medicare Advantage plan to another Medicare Advantage plan (with or without drug coverage) once during this time
  • Drop your current Medicare Advantage plan and return to Original Medicare coverage by itself
  • Enroll in a standalone Medicare Part D prescription drug plan ONLY if you opt to return to Original Medicare coverage at this time

During Medicare Advantage OEP, beneficiaries MAY NOT take the following actions:

  • Switch from Original Medicare coverage to a Medicare Advantage plan for the first time.
  • Join a Medicare drug plan if you only ever had Original Medicare Parts A and B
  • Change from one Medicare prescription drug plan to another if you only ever had Original Medicare Parts A and B
Senior woman smiling while researching on tablet.

Why would you want to change your Medicare Advantage plan?

Even if you are generally happy with your current Medicare Advantage plan, you may be surprised to learn just how beneficial it can be to keep a close watch on not only your own plan, but also any other coverage plans that may be available in your area.

For many Medicare Advantage recipients, the following five factors are a good motivation to consider changing your Medicare Advantage plan during the 2022 Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period:

5. Your current Medicare Advantage plan may have changed some of its benefits without you realizing it.

You may be surprised to learn that just because your Medicare Advantage plan offered coverage for certain healthcare needs when you first enrolled, doesn’t mean it still offers those benefits or always will.

Although your Medicare Advantage plan is required to send you a formal Annual Notice of Change letter in the weeks leading up to Medicare Advantage OEP, it can be easy for this letter to get lost or go overlooked.

While your Medicare Advantage plan isn’t highly likely to change dramatically from year-to-year, it is entirely possible that it has. For this reason, you are encouraged to contact a licensed insurance agent, such as those employed at MedicareInsurance.com, to ensure your benefits are secured to your liking.

4. Changing Medicare Advantage plans could be a great way to save money.

While your current plan may very well include all the healthcare coverage you need, there may also be other options that offer the same benefits at a lower cost. For this reason, it never hurts to shop a round a little in the lead up to Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment.

When doing so, consider the following:

  • Have your current plan’s costs recently gotten more expensive?
  • How much are you paying in monthly premiums?
  • What deductibles do you owe?
  • What copays and coinsurance amounts are you responsible for?
  • Are you covered for services you regularly use or are you paying for benefits you rarely need?
  • How much did you pay this year in healthcare costs alone?

When researching answers to these questions, you may find that your plan isn’t as ideal as you initially thought it was.

3. Switching Medicare Advantage plans may give you better access to your preferred doctors and hospitals.

Your healthcare is an important personal matter. For this reason, you should always ensure that the doctors, hospitals, and providers that are within your plan’s network are who you are most comfortable dealing with. If you aren’t comfortable with the network of providers that your current Medicare Advantage plan network offers, it may be a good idea to explore other options.

It is also possible that your plan’s network may change from year-to-year, so be sure to confirm that your favorite doctors are still covered each time the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period is about to begin.

2. Finding the right Medicare Advantage plan may help you better manage your prescription drug costs.

It’s no secret that the costs associated with prescription medications can add up quickly. Furthermore, the older you get, the more medications you are likely to require, and the more expensive this part of your healthcare may become.

Not all Medicare Advantage plans include an option for prescription drug costs, while others may have much stricter formularies that can vary from year-to-year. When Medicare Advantage OEP rolls around, be sure to triple check that your current medications, and any medications you may soon require, are covered properly under your plan.

If you suspect these medication needs are not currently covered or they may soon not be covered, this is a good reason to research and compare other Medicare Advantage plans that do offer the medication coverage you require.

1. Finding a Medicare Advantage plan that truly fits your healthcare needs is extremely vital.

Without question, your Medicare coverage should accommodate all of the healthcare services you frequently require, as well as any items or medications you expect to require over the course of the next year.

It’s no secret that our health can change quite quickly within one year’s time, and this is all the more reason to ensure that your current Medicare Advantage plan is able to meet your needs. When considering the possibility of a change, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Have my medical needs changed over the past year?
  • Do I have new conditions, illnesses, or disabilities to consider?
  • Does my current Medicare plan cover my current healthcare needs?
  • What personal finance or lifestyle changes have occurred recently or may occur soon?

Your honest answers to these questions should provide you with all the information you need to make the best decision when it comes to your Medicare health insurance coverage.

How do I change Medicare Advantage plans during 2022 Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment?

At this point, you may be asking yourself how to change Medicare plans in order to guarantee yourself the best level of coverage possible. While no one plan is truly perfect, there are many resources you can utilize to help you research, compare, and explore your options as it pertains to your Medicare and Medicare Advantage coverage.

The time is now to contact the experienced, friendly, and licensed insurance agents at MedicareInsurance.com. The 2022 Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period is upon us. Don’t miss your chance to make the necessary changes you may require when it comes to your Medicare health insurance coverage.

About the Author

Kyle Walton

Kyle is a professional writer with several years of experience helping to inform the public on many diverse topics and industries, including healthcare. He is a Kutztown University graduate, Class of 2017.

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