Fall Medicare Open Enrollment
Chad Norgard No Comments

The fall Medicare open enrollment period for 2021 began on October 15, 2020, and continues through December 7th, 2020. This open enrollment period takes place every year between these dates, giving people who already enrolled in Medicare an opportunity to update their coverage. 

If you are already enrolled in Medicare and you want to switch to a different plan or add coverage, this is your opportunity to do so. Feeling overwhelmed or unsure of what to do with your Medicare insurance coverage? This guide will help you with the process of making changes to your coverage and explain what you can and can’t do during the fall open enrollment period. 

What changes can I make during the Fall Medicare Open Enrollment Period?

Here are some eligible changes Medicare enrollees can make between the dates of October 15 and December 7, 2020. The changes will go into effect on January 1, 2021. 

  • Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage Plan. In order to be eligible to make this change, you must be enrolled in original Medicare Plan A and B and live in the service area of the Medicare Advantage plan you are considering. 
  • Switch from a Medicare Advantage Plan to Original Medicare. If you are already enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan, you can switch to an Original Medicare Plan. In addition, you can add a Medicare Part D plan and Medigap plan if you are eligible. 
  • Switch from one Medicare Advantage Plan to Another. Not all Medicare Advantage plans are the same. If you are interested in switching, open enrollment allows you to do so without any lapse in coverage. 
  • Switch to a Different Medicare Part D Plan. If you are already enrolled in a Medicare Part D prescription plan, you can switch to a different plan that may better suit your needs. 
  • Enroll in a Medicare Part D Plan. If you did not enroll in Medicare Part D when you were first eligible to enroll in Medicare, this is your opportunity to add it. 

Can I Enroll in Medicare for the First Time During the Fall Open Enrollment Period?

Unfortunately, no. If you did not enroll in Medicare when you were first eligible to do so, you must wait until the next enrollment period starting January 1 and running through March 31, 2021. The fall Medicare open enrollment period is intended for current enrollees to make changes to their coverage so that those changes can go into effect on January 1, 2021. 

What is a Medicare Advantage Plan? 

Are you wondering what the difference between Original Medicare and a Medicare Advantage Plan? Original Medicare is the insurance program offered directly through the federal government. Medicare Advantage Plans are offered by private insurance providers who contract with the federal government to offer Medicare benefits. Different Medicare Advantage plan providers offer different benefits packages. 

Medicare Advantage plans have certain advantages over Original Medicare. Advantage plans often provide coverage in areas that Original Medicare does not. Prescription drug coverage can sometimes be included with an Advantage plan. Advantage plans can also include vision, dental, and hearing coverage. There is also an out-of-pocket limit for Advantage plans, after which the plan provides full coverage. 

Original Medicare, on the other hand, doesn’t require you to get a referral to see a specialist. With Original Medicare you are eligible for a Medigap plan that provides extra coverage to fill in the gaps that Medicare doesn’t cover. You can also see any provider that accepts Medicare.

What is Medigap Insurance?

Medigap is a Medicare supplement plan that is designed to fill in the gaps of Original Medicare. Unfortunately, Original Medicare does not cover every possible medical expense you may encounter. Medigap plans are offered by private insurance providers to supplement your coverage. Medigap is only available to Original Medicare Enrollees. If you choose a Medicare Advantage plan, you are not eligible for Medigap. However, Medicare Advantage plans usually have coverage built in that is similar to the coverage you would receive with Medigap.  

What is a Medicare Part D Plan?

Medicare Part D is prescription drug coverage. Part D is a federal program, but it is administered through private insurance providers. A Part D drug plan can be added to an Original Medicare plan or to a Medicare Advantage Plan. Through a Medicare Part D prescription plan, you pay only a part of the cost of your medications. Most Medicare enrollees choose to include a Part D prescription plan to make their medications more affordable. 

Still Need Assistance with Medicare Open Enrollment? Contact Norgard Insurance Group

Norgard Insurance Group can help you navigate the Medicare Open Enrollment process this fall. If you have any questions about coverage or how to make changes during this time, contact us and we will be happy to assist you. 

Call (813) 454-5072 today or fill out a contact form online and we will be in touch. We look forward to helping you navigate the Medicare Open Enrollment process so you can get the best coverage for your needs.