Big News for Medicare Advantage Producers
Prior to the ACA, AEP was broken-up into two times: AEP and OEP. AEP (Annual Election Period) was the last part of the year and allowed Medicare beneficiaries to elect different MA or Part D coverage. OEP (Open Enrollment Period) was from January 1st through March 31st and allowed Medicare beneficiaries a one-time change in that time period to choose a different MA plan.
According to the 21st Century Cures Act, which was just passed and signed into law, those enrollment periods will be back in 2019.
Section 17005, titled preservation of Medicare beneficiary choice under Medicare Advantage, states:
…CONTINUOUS OPEN ENROLLMENT AND DISENROLLMENT FOR FIRST 3 MONTHS IN 2016 AND SUBSEQUENT YEARS…
in the case of an individual who first becomes an MA eligible individual during a year (beginning with 2019) and enrolls in an MA plan, during the first 3 months during such year in which the individual is an MA eligible individual;
such MA eligible individual may change the election under subsection (a)(1)
Our interpretation of all this:
- Medicare beneficiaries will have the ability to change MA and MAPD plans from January 1st through March 31st starting in 2019 or return back to original Medicare
- They cannot choose a new PDP plan unless they are leaving a MAPD plan
- This does not GI the client into a Medicare Supplement
As we learn more about the bill, we will release more up-to-date information.
You can read the bill in its entirety here: