Get Ready for Medicare Enrollment Periods, Including Some Changes
Medicare Rights Center
There are important changes to enrollment periods for the 2011 plan year and future plan years, according to Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plan enrollment guidance released by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) at the end of August.
One significant change is the elimination in 2011 of the Open Enrollment Period (OEP), which in previous years began on January 1. Beginning in 2011, there will be a new Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period (MADP) from January 1 to February 14 of each year. During the MADP, people may disenroll from a Medicare private health plan, also known as a Medicare Advantage plan, to Original Medicare. However, individuals are not permitted to switch to another private health plan, or from Original Medicare to a private health plan. People who disenroll from private health plans during the MADP will also be able to enroll in a stand-alone prescription drug plan.
For the 2011 plan year, the Annual Election Period for Medicare private health plans and the Annual Coordinated Election Period for Part D prescription drug plans, sometimes referred to as the Fall Open Enrollment Period, will run from November 15, 2010 to December 31, 2010. While this is the same timeframe as in previous years, beginning next year the fall election periods will take place earlier, from October 15, 2011 to December 7, 2011.
The guidance implements provisions in the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
- View a timeline of Medicare enrollment periods
- Read the Medicare Advantage enrollment guidance
- Read the prescription drug plan enrollment guidance
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