Changes to Medicare Enrollment Periods

PPACA continues to have a ripple effect concerning health care coverage not only for employees but for seniors as well.  Historically, someone who is enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B is given an Annual Open Enrollment Period(AEP) from 11/15 to 12/31  to make changes to their Medicare coverage by either enrolling in a Medicare Advantage Plan or enroll in a Medicare Supplement.  With the addition of Medicare Part D (drug coverage) in 2004, seniors also can change their prescription drug vendor during AEP.

This fall, seniors will have a dramatically shortened AEP period of 45 days which begins on October 1st – December 7th.  The term Open Enrollment is a bit of misnomer as now the only options during AEP will be to “Disenroll” from a Medicare Advantage Plan.  Medicare Beneficiaries who Disenroll from a Medicare Advantage Plan will be allowed to enroll in a Part D (Stand Alone PDP) during OEP.

Lots of changes forthcoming with Health Care Reform, so we recommend that you educate those employees who are over 65 and enrolled in Medicare of their options or allow a Muneris representative to provide our free Medicare consultative services.

Burman S. Clark

Burman S. Clark, RHU, CSA is the President of Muneris Benefits and a licensed insurance broker and consultant. His independent practice and focuses on employee benefits, individual life, disability, medical, and senior products. Burman has traveled extensively and provided guidance to large employer associations with regards to the Affordable Care Act.