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).

ESRD Medicare Booklet If you have permanent kidney failure, this official government booklet explains the basics of Medicare, how Medicare helps pay for kidney dialysis and kidney transplants, and where to get help.
2010 Medicare Premiums, Deductibles, and Co-payments Applies to Original Medicare Plan (Medicare Fee-for-Service).
Co-payment: fixed dollar amount after annual deductible is met.
Coinsurance: % of Medicare approved amount after annual deductible is met.
2010 QMB, SLMB, and QI Programs The Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB), Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary (SLMB) and Qualifying Individual (QI) programs are federal Medicare Savings Programs (MSPs) which help low income elders and younger Medicare beneficiaries access Medicare benefits.
Changes in the Law Starting January 2010 Make it Easier to Save on Medicare Drug Plan CostsEn Español Beginning January 1, 2010, changes in the law, under the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act, will make it easier for some people to qualify for Extra Help with their Medicare prescription drug plan costs. Click here to see how in English and Spanish. Get some of your questions about the new law answered here.
Q&A MIPPA Questions & Answers for the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act.

Medigap Changes in 2010

  • Q & A
  • Coverage Gap Rebate
  • Facts About Medicare and Kidney Transplantation

Medicare Part B

CMS Medicare Premiums and Deductibles for 2010 Informative facts about the Medicare Part B program.
H.R. 3631 – Medicare Premium Fairness Act Facts sheet about protection for all seniors from Medicare Part B premium increases. The House passes H.R. 3631, but the Senate has not.

Medicare Part D


Quick Facts Part D Informative facts about the Medicare Part D program.
Quick Facts Part D How To Join An explanation of the ways and times in which a person can enroll in Medicare Part D.
Quick Facts Part D with Medicare & Medicaid An explanation of basic facts for patients who have both Medicare and Medicaid.
Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan complaints (i.e., grievances) See the process CMS recommends if the beneficiary has not yet made a complaint, or if he or she has made a complaint and a reasonable amount of time has passed without resolution, or if the beneficiary has a dire or urgent need.

Medicare Learning Network

Medicare Learning Network (MLN) Catalog of Products –
Winter 2013 Edition
The Winter 2013 Edition of the Medicare Learning Network (MLN) Catalog of Products is now available on the CMS web site The MLN Products Catalog is an interactive downloadable document that lists all Medicare Learning Network products by media format. The catalog has been revised to provide new customer-friendly links that are embedded within the document. All product titles and the word “download” when selected, will link you to the online version of the product. The word “hard copy” when selected, will automatically link you to the MLN Product Ordering page. To access the catalog, click on the link called MLN Product Catalog.
REVISED Rehabilitation Therapy Information Resource for Medicare Fact Sheet (April 2010) The revised Rehabilitation Therapy Information Resource for Medicare Fact Sheet (April 2010) is now available to be downloaded from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Medicare Learning Network on the CMS web site This fact sheet provides guidance and resources related to rehabilitation therapy services, coverage requirements, and payment systems.