Depending on your circumstances, you may have opportunities to change your Medicare health and drug coverage in 2020.
If you have Extra Help: Extra Help is a federal program that helps pay for some to most of the out-of-pocket costs of Medicare prescription drug coverage. If you have Extra Help in 2020, you have a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) to enroll in a Part D plan or switch between plans. This SEP is available once per calendar quarter for the first three quarters of the year (January-March, April- June, and July-September). If you use the Extra Help SEP to change your coverage, the change will become effective the first of the month following the month that you make the change. For example, if you use the Extra Help SEP to choose a new Part D prescription drug plan in March, that plan will become effective April 1. If you use your Extra Help SEP in one quarter, you will have to wait until the next quarter to make another change, unless you have a different SEP.
If you qualify for another Special Enrollment Period (SEP): There are several circumstances in which you may be able to make changes to your Medicare health/drug coverage. For example, you have a SEP if you move outside of your plan’s service area, if your Medicare Advantage Plan terminated a significant amount of its network providers, or if you enroll in certain State Pharmaceutical Assistance Programs (SPAPs).
You can also use an SEP to change your coverage if you chose the wrong plan during Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period because of misinformation you received from the Medicare Plan Finder. To us this SEP, call 1-800-MEDICARE and explain your situation. You should not be required to show proof of the misinformation, and you can use this SEP throughout the year.
If you need to make changes to your coverage but you are not sure whether you qualify for an SEP, call your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) to learn more. If you do not know how to contact your SHIP, call 877-839-2675 or visit www.shiptacenter.org.
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