Get Ready for Medicare Enrollment Periods, Including Some Changes
There are important changes to
enrollment periods for the 2011
plan year and future plan years,
according to Medicare Advantage
and Prescription Drug Plan
enrollment guidance released by
the Centers for Medicare &
Medicaid Services (CMS) at the
end of August.
One significant change is the elimination in 2011 of the Open Enrollment Period (OEP), which in previous years began on January 1. Beginning in 2011, there will be a new Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period (MADP) from January 1 to February 14 of each year. During the MADP, people may disenroll from a Medicare private health plan, also known as a Medicare Advantage plan, to Original Medicare. However, individuals are not permitted to switch to another private health plan, or from Original Medicare to a private health plan. People who disenroll from private health plans during the MADP will also be able to enroll in a stand-alone prescription drug plan.
For the 2011 plan year, the Annual Election Period for Medicare private health plans and the Annual Coordinated Election Period for Part D prescription drug plans, sometimes referred to as the Fall Open Enrollment Period, will run from November 15, 2010 to December 31, 2010. While this is the same timeframe as in previous years, beginning next year the fall election periods will take place earlier, from October 15, 2011 to December 7, 2011.
The guidance implements provisions in the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
View a timeline of Medicare enrollment periods.
Read the Medicare Advantage enrollment guidance.
Read the prescription drug plan enrollment guidance.
Forum Examines Impact of Health Reform on People with Disabilities
Yesterday, Medicare Rights Center President Joe Baker served as a panelist at a Kaiser Family Foundation forum on the challenges facing people with disabilities before, during and after implementation of health reform.
The starting point for the discussion was a recent study, conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation and published in Health Affairs, which found that people who are under 65 and have Medicare as a result of a disability are more likely to experience difficulty accessing and paying for care.
In his opening comments, Baker noted that the study’s results reflect what the Medicare Rights Center hears from the consumers who call our hotline. “Over the last three months, 80 percent of our callers that are under 65 and disabled are asking about low-income programs because they can’t afford the cost of their care,” he said.
Baker also pointed to reforms included in the Affordable Care Act, such as the new high-risk insurance pools and the future health insurance exchange, as promising developments for people with disabilities.
Other panelists at the forum included Jeffrey Crowley, senior advisor on disability policy at the White House, Juliette Cubanski, coauthor of the Foundation’s study, and Elizabeth Priaulx, a senior disability legal specialist with the National Disability Rights Network. PBS NewsHour coanchor Judy Woodruff moderated the discussion.
Watch a video of the forum.
Read the Kaiser Family Foundationís study.