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Medicare annual enrollment period ends Dec. 7

Seniors have limited time to make changes

Published: Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012 11:47 a.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012 11:49 a.m. CDT

The Medicare annual enrollment period ends on Dec. 7, meaning seniors only have a few weeks to make changes to their Medicare Advantage and Part D prescription drug plans. Seniors have previously had until Dec. 31 to make these changes. 

“The earlier deadline allows seniors to receive their enrollment cards in a timelier manner and ensures applications are processed prior to the holiday season,” said Jeff Maki of Clemon-Maki Insurance.

Dec. 8, 2012 — Nov. 30, 2013: “Five-Star” Special Election Period

Continuing this year, seniors also have the option of switching their current Medicare Advantage or Part D plan outside of the AEP. Seniors would have the option to switch their current plan to a “five-star rated” plan, the highest rating available from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. 

“The five-star special election period gives seniors an option if they decide the plan they purchased doesn’t fit their needs or if they are not happy with how claims are being handled. Rather than waiting for the next AEP, you can change to a well-respected plan sooner,” Maki said.

Plan ratings can be obtained through agents and are available at www.medicare.gov.

Jan. 1, 2013 — Feb. 14, 2013:

Medicare Advantage

Disenrollment Period

If seniors purchased a Medicare Advantage plan (either during the previous year’s AEP or earlier), they can disenroll from the plan between Jan. 1, 2013, and Feb. 14, 2013. Seniors can return to original Medicare to replace the plan from which they disenrolled. A new Medicare Advantage plan cannot be selected.

Turning 65 in 2013?

Individuals turning 65 in 2013 also have a limited time to elect Medicare benefits. Generally, seniors can apply for Medicare Advantage and Part D plans starting three months before their birth month. They can also apply during their birth month and three months after that month.

Apply for Medicare Supplement Plans at Any Time

Medicare Supplement plans can be purchased and changed at any time. Applicants must answer health questions and undergo an approval process each time they switch to a new plan.

Any time seniors in Newton have questions they can contact their local Medicare agent Jeff Maki at (888) 792-5040 for a no-obligation review.

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