Medicare Open Enrollment May Be Over, But Seniors Still Have Options
Open Enrollment for Medicare may have ended almost two weeks ago, but seniors can still switch plans, provided that the plan they’re switching to meets certain requirements.
Some seniors may be surprised to hear that they can still change their minds when it comes to their Medicare coverage. But, according to an article on seniorjournal.com, the possibility still exists, courtesy of the 5-Star Special Enrollment Period (SEP).
Don’t worry if you’ve never heard of the SEP—it’s likely that few seniors have.
Beneficiaries who received the Medicare and You 2012 booklet can find out more about the SEP by referring to page 79.
For those not wanting to dig out their book and thumb through it, the 5-Star Enrollment Period began December 8, 2011 (the day after Open Enrollment ended) and goes through November 30, 2012. During this time, beneficiaries have the opportunity to change to a Medicare Advantage or drug plan that has achieved a 5-star rating.
A 5-star plan is one that has received the highest quality rating from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Ratings range from one star (“poor”) to five stars (“excellent”) and are based on 33 different measures gathered from various sources including; customer satisfaction surveys, performance metrics such as health outcomes, and independent reviews.
The two caveats to the SEP are: seniors can only switch one time per period, and some seniors won’t be able to switch because there is no 5-star plan in their area.
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