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Time is Running Out for Medicare Beneficiaries to Make Plan Changes

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COVID-19 has created a special enrollment period or SEP for Medicare beneficiaries to make changes to their plans or enroll in Medicare.

But time is running out, said Jae Oh, author of Maximize Your Medicare.

According to Oh, you can cancel your Medicare Advantage plan and switch to another one that's available in your area. You can also cancel your Medicare Advantage plan and enroll in a Part D, a standalone prescription drug plan. Or, you can cancel your Medicare Advantage plan and purchase a Medigap policy.

But Oh recommended acting quickly if you choose this last option because you need to get “accepted by a Medigap” provider. Oh’s advice: Don’t cancel your Medicare Advantage plan until your Medigap policy has been approved because you can’t switch back to your Medicare Advantage plan after canceling it. 

And lastly, if for whatever reason you have not yet enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B, this is your time to do so, said Oh.

“Normally that period ends on March 31,” he said. But the SEP will let you do that through June 30. Note: You may still be subject to late enrollment penalties but your coverage would be effective on July 1. 

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