What Happens if You Miss Medicare Open Enrollment?


I missed the December 7 Medicare open enrollment deadline! What do I do now?

I get this question a lot!

Missing the open enrollment deadline can result in having inadequate or costly coverage. However, you may still be able to make Medicare coverage changes without waiting until 2020 (although there is no guarantee).

5-Star Plans

Medicare rates certain plans using a star system with information collected from member satisfaction surveys and health-care providers. Five stars is the highest rating available.

Between December 8 and November 30 (of the following year), if a 5-star plan is available in your area, you may sign up or switch to one of these plans. This special enrollment period ONLY applies to

  • Medicare Advantage plans,
  • stand-alone Medicare Part D, and
  • Medicare Cost plans.

Special Enrollment Periods

There are several situations where coverage changes may occur outside of the Medicare open enrollment period. Most situations involve losing health-care coverage in one form or another.

For example:

  • You moved out of your plan’s service area
  • You were eligible for Medicaid but now you are not
  • You left your employer or union-based health insurance
  • You moved into, out of, or still live in a skilled nursing facility
  • Your plan is losing or discontinuing its contract with Medicare
  • You are moving back to the United States after living in another country

Other circumstances may be available to you if you miss open enrollment. However, it is always best to make sure you have signed up for the right plan before your window closes. If I can help you enroll on time and with the plan this most suited your needs, please contact me anytime.

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