The Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period 2017, also know as MAPD starts on January 1st and ends on February 14th. During this time each year, Medicare-eligible seniors can make changes to their existing health insurance coverage. However, any changes must adhere to the guidelines set forth by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
Dropping Your Medicare Advantage Plan During MAPD
During the MAPD, you are permitted to disenroll from your current Medicare Advantage Plan (MA) or Medicare Advantage with prescription drug coverage plan (MAPD) and return to Original Medicare Part A and Part B.
If you choose to disenroll from your current MA or MAPD plan, you will have the option to apply for Medicare Supplement coverage. You can also enroll in a Prescription Drug Plan (PDP). Unlike the old Open Enrollment Period (OEP), you can enroll in a PDP even if your Medicare Advantage Plan didn’t offer prescription drug coverage.
Any changes to your coverage will take effect on the first day of the following month. For example, if you disenroll from your MAPD plan on January 15th, you will return to Original Medicare on February 1st.
Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period and Prescription Drug Plans
Also unlike the old OEP, during the Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period 2017, you can purchase a Prescription Drug Plan if you don’t already own one. If you already own a PDP, you cannot switch plans. Changing PDP plans, under most circumstances can only be done during the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) which runs from October 15th through December 7th of every year.
It is important to remember, if you have a Medicare Advantage Plan, you cannot purchase a separate Prescription Drug Plan as additional coverage. Doing so may cause you to be disenrolled from your MA plan.