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Medicare Advantage

Medicare Advantage plans are another way to get your Original Medicare coverage. These plans do not replace your Part A and Part B coverage, but rather they become primary to your Original Medicare Coverage. Plus, these policies often come with extra benefits.

Who is eligible for Medicare Advantage?

If you are eligible for Medicare, then you are eligible for Medicare Advantage, also known as Part C. However, you must be enrolled in Part B in order to sign up for a Medicare Advantage plan. And if you drop your Part B coverage, you will no longer be able to keep your Medicare Advantage plan. 

Note that though people who have Medicare and suffer from ESRD used to be barred from signing up for Medicare Advantage, but they now have the option to enroll (as of January 2021).

When can you enroll in Medicare Advantage?

You have multiple opportunities to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan. The most common time to do so is during your Initial Coverage Election Period (ICEP), which occurs when you first become eligible for Medicare. However, it may be a good idea to discuss the timing of your Medicare Advantage enrollment with a licensed insurance agent, as there are unique situations in which enrolling later on may be in your best interest. 

Your ICEP begins three months before you turn 65, includes your birthday month, and continues three months after your birthday month. If you are under 65 and become eligible for Medicare due to receiving disability benefits, this period begins three months before the 25th month that you recieve benefits and extends for three months after. 

However, you also have the option to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, drop your current plan, or change plans during the Annual Election Period (AEP). The AEP occurs from October 15th until December 7th.  

Additionally, you can change Advantage plans or drop your plan and return to Original Medicare during the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period. This lasts from January 1st to March 31st each year. 

Finally, Special Enrollment Periods may be granted in certain circumstances. They allow you to modify your coverage outside of the previously mentioned periods. This can occur if you move out of a plan’s coverage area, lose your current coverage, and more. 

If you want to explore the various Medicare Advantage options available, don’t hesitate to reach out to an expert. A licensed insurance agent here at Medicare Plans Direct can address all of your Medicare Advantage questions.

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