Medicare Renewal: Do You Need to Renew Every Year?

August 16, 2022

Medicare Renewal: Do You Need to Renew Every Year?: The quick response is no. Medicare is likely to continue operating unnoticed until you enroll in its multiple parts, pay its bills, and are happy with your coverage. This is also the case if you haven’t gotten a notice that one of its parts is terminating.

However, there are several situations in which it is not the case. Rules for various Medicare parts vary. To ensure that you don’t miss any important details about your medicare plans that you need to know in order to maintain your insurance, it pays to read the notices that you receive from Medicare and its providers.

Medicare Part A and Part B 

You never have to renew them because you are enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B. “If you wish to do so you can “stop” Medicare Part B (i.e. if you get a job that offers group insurance and wants to disenroll from Medicare). But if you do nothing, without a need for annual, or occasional, renewal, Medicare will still proceed.

Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D 

Each year, these plans extend their contract with Medicare. Medicare must approve the design of the plan each year. You may not have to do anything if it is approved by CMS (Medicare), and you choose to retain the plan. But the Medicare IS plan contract has been extended annually. Every year about late September/early October, you will receive a note about the status of the schedule for the following calendar year. It also provides information about how the plan will adjust for the next year (prices, coverage, etc.). 

Medicare Supplement (Medigap) Plans

Every time the fee is paid, the Medigap plans are renewed. If you pay on a monthly basis, they’re refreshed each month. You do not have to do anything annually to renew them, and Medicare Supplement plans do not have an annual open enrollment period. The advantage they have is that they are “guaranteed renewable.” If you do not pay the premium, it will run forever. However, you will normally have a grace period and/or a reinstatement period if your policy does expire. If you are traveling for an extended time, moving to a new place, having a long illness, or changing your autopay source, for example, it is very easy for this to happen. Due to any changes in health, your Medigap carrier will not remove you from your plan or make amendments to your plan. For example, downgrade your benefits.

Also Read: Why Having a Life Insurance a Good Idea?

What happens if they do not renew my Medicare Advantage Plan or Medicare Part D Plan?

You would have a special election period if your Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage) or Prescription Drug Plan (Part D) policies are not renewed (in other words, they are no longer approved/offered in your area). You can sign up for a Medicare Supplement Plan or change your Medicare coverage to a new Medicare Advantage plan during a Special Election Period (SEP) for a non-renewal Medicare Advantage. If your Part D plan is not extended for the next year, you can select a new Part D plan if you do not do so for the next year you will be without drug coverage. There are also various SEPs applied to different conditions in addition to the SEP given to individuals in a non-renewal contract.

A few Special Election Period(SEP) scenarios and their respective time frames are described below:

If you notify your plan before your move, you will adjust the month before the month you move; it lasts for 2 full months after you move. -You have changed and your plan is not offered in your current service area. But when you pass, if you say your plan, you’ll be able to switch plans starting the month you tell your plan, plus 2 more complete months.

The Medicare contract for your plan will not be extended from December 8 until the end of February for the coming year.

In the middle of the year, the plan leaves the Medicare program

Your SEP starts the month you are told and lasts for two more months.

You have two months until and one full month after the end of the plan – Medicare terminates its contractual arrangement with your plan.

Even if your Medicare coverage does not need to be extended, it is wise to check your coverage every year. Benefits from your plan can change. In addition, networks for providers and pharmacies can be added or excluded from the list. Drug application types can also shift. In particular, this could have a significant impact, along with cost-sharing, on the cost-effectiveness of your plan. Both of these will vary from year to year and have an effect on your out-of-pocket expenses. An excellent idea to ensure that your coverage continues to be in accordance with your budget and your health needs is to compare plans on an annual basis.

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