For people who are unhappy with their Medicare Advantage plan, there is still a way to get out of it. That is called the Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period (MADP).
The Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period runs from January 1 – February 14th. After that, most people are “locked into” their Advantage plan for the rest of the year. (See the exception to this rule below.)
During the MADP, a person enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan (MA) may dis-enroll from that MA plan and return to Original Medicare.
During the MADP, people cannot switch to another Medicare Advantage plan. Their only option during this period is to go back to Original Medicare. Then they are eligible for a Special Election Period (SEP) to enroll in a stand-alone Part D plan (PDP).
Most people enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans are locked into their plans for 2017 – unless they take advantage of the MADP. Some people can change their Medicare Advantage plan – if they get help with their drug costs.
IMPORTANT Advice for people who are thinking about using the Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period:
Make sure you can get a Medicare supplement when you drop your Medicare Advantage plan. If you have health problems, you can be refused a Medicare supplement policy and then you will have only Medicare.
Medicare alone is not good coverage – especially if you have a chronic illness, are diagnosed with cancer, or have a serious illness that requires surgery and/or a lengthy hospital stay. You will be responsible for 20% of your medical bills (beyond what Part A of Medicare covers) and that can add up to thousands of dollars with no end in sight.