Approaching the Annual Election Period starting October 15th, most Medicare beneficiaries think about keeping their existing plan or changes they could make for the following year. However, sometimes Medicare Advantage or Part D plan doesn’t renew its contract with Medicare for the upcoming year. Many agents know this as a “Plan Exit”. If this does happen, you may have many clients with questions on when and how to change plans. If a plan exit does occur, beneficiaries will have a Medicare Plan Non-Renewal Special Enrollment Period that extends past the Annual Election Period and allows them to choose a new plan.

When a Medicare Advantage Plan or Medicare Prescription Drug Plan’s contract with Medicare isn’t renewed, they are required to notify beneficiaries by October 1st. This can be stressful at first, but you need to assure them that their current coverage will continue through the end of the current calendar year.

When you can make changes:

The Medicare Plan Non-Renewal SEP lasts from December 8th of the current year through the last day of February of the next year. This gives more time to compare options so beneficiaries can switch to a new Medicare Advantage or Part D plan that suits their needs.

Keep in mind:

AEP is October 15th through December 7th, beneficiaries still have this election period and can therefor make changes to their current plan as soon as October 15th.

When will new coverage start?

The effective start date of your new coverage depends on when you enroll in a new plan:

  • Enrollments from October 15th through December 31st: Coverage will become effective on January 1st of the following year.
  • Enrollments in January: Coverage will become effective on February 1st.
  • Enrollments in February: Coverage will start on March 1st.

The current plan’s coverage will end January 1st. If you don’t choose a new plan before December 31st, there could be gaps in coverage – including going without prescription drug coverage.

Medicare Plan Non-Renewal SEP Example:

Greg is enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plan and on October 1st receives a plan non-renewal notice from his current carrier. This notice lets him know he must choose a new plan for the coming year which he can choose during the Medicare Plan Non-Renewal Special Enrollment Period between December 8th and February 28th. On December 20th, Greg chooses to enroll in a new MAPD which will be effective January 1st.  Greg could also have chosen to enroll in a Medicare Supplement with no medical underwriting required.

It can feel overwhelming when beneficiaries receive a plan non-renewal notice from their carrier. You want to make sure you know how to help them find new coverage, what changes they can make, and when you should enroll them in a new plan so they don’t have gaps in coverage.

Need more resources and support to increase your Medicare sales? Contact us HERE to learn more about contracting with our team!

Please follow and like us: