Still Time to Make Changes in Your Insurance? Maybe.
While the open enrollment window has closed for most people for 2017, there are a number of exceptions. Opportunities to enroll or make changes are available in the following situations:
Former HealthSpan Insureds
Because HealthSpan discontinued offering their Advantage Plan in this area, those who were insured with them will have some extra time to choose different coverage. The Special Enrollment period for this group has been extended until February 28, 2017.
If you were formerly insured by HealthSpan and made no changes on your own, you were automatically enrolled with HealthSpan's choice of a new insurance provider. You do not have to accept this change. Until the Special Enrollment period ends on February 28, you have the option of going back to Original Medicare or switching to a different Advantage Plan that better suits your needs and budget.
The last day to enroll in Affordable Care coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace is January 31, 2017. After this date, you can enroll or change plans only if you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. If you miss enrolling by the deadline and do not have comparable coverage or an exemption, you may be subject to a penalty of 2.5 percent of your household income or $695 per person (or half that, $347.50 for each child) – whichever is higher.
Medicare Advantage Disenrollment
Medicare Advantage plan enrollees who have a change of heart and want to go back to Original Medicare can do so between January 1 and February 14, 2017. The effective date of a disenrollment request made during the Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period will be the first of the month following the Medicare Advantage Plan’s receipt of the disenrollment request.
If you choose to disenroll, you cannot switch to another Advantage plan. You can only go back to Original Medicare.
Regardless of whether the Medicare Advantage plan included Part D drug coverage, those who use the Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period are eligible to enroll in a stand-alone Medicare prescription drug plan during the same time frame.
Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period does not apply to Medicare Supplements. Unlike Advantage plans, you are permitted to purchase or make changes to a Medicare Supplement at any time throughout the year.
If you face one of these situations and would like to learn more about your health insurance options, please call me at 440-255-5700 or email me at Lmutsko@mutskinsurance.com. I will be happy to help you find the right insurance plan for you.
Laura Mutsko is a licensed insurance broker offering a complete line of health and life insurance products, including Individual, Group and Family Health, Annuities, Long Term Care Insurance, Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplement Plans, Medicare Part D Prescription Coverage, Vision, Dental and Life Insurance. Mutsko Insurance Services, LLC is located at 6966 Spinach Drive in Mentor, Ohio. Laura can be reached at 440-255-5700 or through email at Lmutsko@mutskoinsurance.com. For more information, visit www.mutskoinsurance.com.
My name is Barbara Comiskey and I have been a resident of Euclid for 16 years. I am a solopreneur and marketing specialist who works with small to midsize businesses and entrepreneurial companies, many who focus on services for older adults. I am married to a life-long resident of Euclid, Charles Comiskey, and together we have four children and six grandchildren.