What’s OEP? It’s the Open Enrollment Period which beginning in 2019 is from January 1-March 31 each year.
With it being OEP the Medicare Media Blast from this past Fall continues as the carriers are at it again bombarding the airwaves, print media, and maybe your mail box with the usual daze and confuse information so you hopefully contact one of them to change your plan.
During OEP you can change your current Advantage plan to another Advantage plan no questions asked. Or you can drop your current Advantage plan and go back to original Medicare and then add a Part D drug plan.
Why would you make the change? You picked the plan yourself and find out, oops, the doctor/s you have that you thought were in the plan and were in 2018 are not in the plan for 2019. You were very busy during the AEP time frame (October 15-December 7) and only learned now that the Advantage plan you had for years is no longer accepted at certain Hospitals. One example of this is the Montefiore system which dropped a major carrier in 2018 and bought several more hospitals in Westchester County in 2019 so that carrier’s Advantage plan is not accepted at those Westchester hospitals any longer.
Your friend… (see Medicare Myth #5 at www.robertreminsurance.com) told you they have the greatest and most cost efficient plan so you called their carrier and signed up only to learn it’s not so cost efficient for your needs as your drug costs on that friend’s recommended plan are through the roof.
Opt Back to Original Medicare – There is no reason in my opinion to opt out of an appropriate Advantage plan for your situation and go back to only original Medicare as you will be responsible for 20% of all costs above and beyond what Original Medicare does not cover. Russian Roulette if you wind up with even with a non -life threatening Medical situation. In addition you will have to purchase a Part D prescription drug plan which might be more costly than an appropriate Advantage plan as the Part D is included in those plans.
OEP Conclusion – It’s great to be able to change during the 1st quarter of the year so one is not stuck in a non-appropriate plan and possibly high cost situation until the following year. However, the idea is to do it correctly the first time around so OEP is moot for your particular circumstances. You do that by working with a carrier independent professional that can guide you properly with the appropriate plan choices for your needs.