Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period

In 2019, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) introduced a new enrollment period that applies to Medicare Advantage beneficiaries.

The Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period runs from January 1 through March 31 and gives a beneficiary the opportunity to make a change to their coverage without waiting for the next Annual Enrollment Period.  A Medicare Advantage beneficiary can switch back to Original Medicare and enroll in a Part D plan, if needed, or can switch to another Medicare Advantage plan. Only one enrollment change is allowed during the three-month window.

Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period Highlights

Beneficiaries have a one-time chance to:

  • Switch to a different Medicare Advantage plan.
  • Drop a Medicare Advantage plan and return to Original Medicare (Part A and Part B).
  • Sign up for a Part D Prescription Drug plan (if returning to Original Medicare).

What a beneficiary can't do:

  • Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan.
  • Join or switch a Part D Prescription Drug plan if in Original Medicare.

What does this mean for your clients?:

  • A member can still switch from one Optima Medicare plan to another Optima Medicare plan.
  • A member from another Medicare Advantage carrier can still enroll in Optima Medicare.

Important Tips to Remember

The Open Enrollment Period gives Brokers a way to help clients make last minute changes to their Medicare Advantage coverage, but there are important CMS guidelines to meet.

You may:

  • Still market for enrollments for Special Enrollment Period eligibility such as to those eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid and Low-Income Subsidy (LIS) beneficiaries.
  • Market to beneficiaries aging-in to Medicare who have not made a decision.
  • Conduct one-on-one meetings when the beneficiary makes a request.
  • Provide information to a new client about Open Enrollment Period upon request by the beneficiary.

You may not:

  • Send unsolicited information promoting the Open Enrollment Period to generate new sales.
  • Knowingly target beneficiaries who are in Open Enrollment Period.
  • Engage in or promote enrollment activities to use Open Enrollment Period to make new sales.
  • Contact former beneficiaries who selected a new plan during the Annual Enrollment Period and use Open Enrollment Period as a method to win-back sales.

Questions? Contact the Optima Medicare Sales Team: