Although it may make things more difficult for those who are on Medicare Advantage plans and those who work with them, the annual 45-day enrollment period is what we have to work with. And, this year’s AEP is nearly here.
The 2009 period (for the 2010 plans) is expected to be especially interesting, as there are at least 4 major Medicare Advantage companies pulling out of the Medicare Advantage marketplace completely. This represents hundreds of thousands of customers nationwide that have to find a new company/plan. These individuals also have a special right to purchase a Medigap plan, if they so choose, which they would otherwise have to qualfiy for medically by answering medical questions. However, due to the involuntary loss of their current Medicare Advantage plan, these individuals can choose either a Medicare Advantage or Medigap plan of their choice, with no pre-existing condition exclusions or ability to be turned down.
There are some very good Medicare Advantage plans still in South Carolina for 2010, despite many changes overall to the plans, which has led the aforementioned plans to drop out completely and other plans to raise premiums and/or reduce benefits.