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Kaiser Family Foundation

I am enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, but have recently made plans to do some traveling throughout the United States. Will my plan provide the same coverage in all the states I visit?

Not necessarily. You will need to contact the company that is offering your plan to find out if/which benefits are available out-of-state. If your plan does not offer out-of-state coverage, there may be another plan offered by the same firm that does, or a similar plan offered by another firm…

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Kaiser Family Foundation

I just became eligible for Medicare this summer and signed up for a Medicare Advantage plan, but I’m still not sure if I like my plan. Can I switch plans during this year’s Medicare Open Enrollment period?

Yes. You can change Medicare Advantage plans or switch to traditional Medicare between October 15 and December 7 each year. You can also use the annual Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment period (January 1-March 31) to switch to a different Medicare Advantage plan or switch to traditional Medicare.

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Kaiser Family Foundation

How can I find out if my doctor is in a Medicare Advantage plan network?

There are a couple of ways to find out if your doctor is in a Medicare Advantage plan network. If you have a particular plan or insurer that you’re looking into, you can go to the plan’s website and look for their searchable directory or find a plan directory on…

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Kaiser Family Foundation

How can I switch from Medicare Advantage to traditional Medicare? Is there a form I need to fill out?

If you’re already in a Medicare Advantage plan and you want to switch to traditional Medicare, you should contact your current plan to cancel your enrollment and call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). Note there are specific enrollment periods each year to do this. The first period when you can switch from your…

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Kaiser Family Foundation

If I sign up for a Medicare Advantage plan during the Medicare Open Enrollment period, when will the coverage take effect?

If you enroll in a plan during the Medicare Open Enrollment period that runs from October 15 to December 7 each year, your coverage takes effect on January 1 of the following year.

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Kaiser Family Foundation

Can I be charged a higher premium for Medicare Advantage plans if I have a pre-existing condition or if I smoke?

No, Medicare Advantage plans charge the same premiums to all enrollees; they are not permitted to vary premiums based on age, smoking history, gender, or pre-existing medical conditions.

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Kaiser Family Foundation

I’ve been enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan for several years, but I want to switch to traditional Medicare. Can I make that change during the Medicare Open Enrollment period?

Yes, you can elect to switch to traditional Medicare from your Medicare Advantage plan during the Medicare Open Enrollment period, which runs from October 15 to December 7 each year. Your coverage under traditional Medicare will begin January 1 of the following year. You can also make this change during…

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Kaiser Family Foundation

I am enrolled in a stand-alone Medicare Part D drug plan. Do I need to do anything during the Medicare Open Enrollment period?

If you are happy with your current coverage and your plan will continue to be offered next year, you can keep it and do not need to do anything during the Medicare Open Enrollment period. Your enrollment will automatically continue. However, you might want to see how your current coverage…

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Kaiser Family Foundation

I decided not to sign up for a Part D drug plan when I first qualified for Medicare when I turned 65 last year, but now I want to enroll in a drug plan during the Medicare Open Enrollment period. Can I do that?

Yes, you can sign up for a Part D plan during the Medicare Open Enrollment period. However, you may also owe a late enrollment penalty because you didn’t sign up for Part D drug coverage when you first became eligible for Medicare. The penalty is equal to 1% of the…

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Kaiser Family Foundation

Can choosing a new drug plan really make a difference? How can switching plans make a difference in out-of-pocket costs?

Medicare drug plans can differ in ways that can have a big impact on your out-of-pocket costs, including monthly premiums, the list of drugs covered by each plan, how much the plan charges for preferred and non-preferred drugs, and how much the plan charges for high-cost specialty drugs. Not everyone…

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.