Enrollment options to get a 2019 Medicare plan My Medicare Cost plan is not available in 2019. Can I still enroll in a new Medicare plan?
If your Medicare Cost plan ended Dec. 31, 2018 and you haven’t enrolled in a 2019 Medicare plan yet, don’t worry. You can still get Medicare coverage to meet your needs.
Medicare Cost plans are not available in 66 Minnesota counties in 2019 (see “Where Cost plans are offered” in the green box on the right). If you live in one of these counties, you need to choose a new Medicare plan for 2019 or you’ll have Original Medicare only and may not have Part D prescription drug coverage. If you want extra coverage for doctors, hospitals or outpatient prescription drugs, you can enroll in these types of plans: Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplement or Medicare Prescription Drug Plan.
In some cases, health plans automatically enrolled Cost plan members into a Medicare Advantage plan for 2019; if this happened to you, you’ll have a new Medicare plan starting Jan. 1, 2019 and don’t need to take further action.
Contact your current Medicare plan if you’re not sure about what action you need to take.
Can I still enroll in a Medicare plan for 2019?
Yes! If your Cost plan ended, you still have opportunities to enroll in a 2019 plan. Depending on the type of plan you want, use these Medicare enrollment options:
Dec. 8, 2018 – Feb. 28, 2019: You are eligible for a one-time Special Election Period if you were enrolled in a Cost plan that closed. Use this SEP to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan (medical plan with or without Part D prescription drug coverage) or Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (Part D-only plan). Generally, your plan will be effective the first of the month after your enrollment is received.
Now – March 5, 2019: You can enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan without providing your health history. This is called the Guaranteed Issue Right Medicare Supplement Enrollment Period. Your eligibility began the date you received notice of your Cost plan termination and lasts through March 5, 2019. You can enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan after March 5, but you may have to provide your health history and are not guaranteed approval. A Medicare Supplement plan provides medical coverage only. So if you elect this option and also want to have Part D prescription drug coverage, remember to sign up for a separate Medicare Prescription Drug Plan before January 1 so you don’t have a gap in coverage. If you enroll January 1 or later, your Medicare Prescription Drug Plan will be effective the first of the following month.
Jan. 1, 2019 – March 31, 2019: The Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period is for Medicare Advantage members who want to make a change. You can switch to a different Medicare Advantage plan or add/drop Part D prescription drug coverage. Did your health plan automatically enroll you in a Medicare Advantage plan that was similar to your 2018 Cost plan? Or did you choose a Medicare Advantage plan for 2019 during the annual enrollment? If so, this enrollment period gives you a chance to make changes.
When’s the next open enrollment?
After the key dates above, your next opportunity to enroll in a different Medicare Advantage plan or Medicare Prescription Drug Plan will be in fall 2019. Key dates are:
- Oct. 1, 2019 is the first day health plans can share information about 2020 Medicare options. You’ll be able to find out about Medicare plans’ costs, benefits and networks.
- Oct. 15 to Dec. 7, 2019 is the next Annual Election Period. During this time you can enroll in a new plan for 2020. Your new Medicare plan would start Jan. 1, 2020.
If you receive your Medicare Cost coverage through a former employer or union, your enrollment periods may vary. Please contact your plan administrator.
Talk to an expert for help
One way to work your way through these key dates and decisions is to get help. Talk to a licensed Medicare sales representative for guidance. They understand how Medicare works. They can identify your enrollment options. They’ll explain the different types of Medicare plans to meet your needs. And they can help you complete the enrollment.
HealthPartners will continue to support you through these changes so you get the Medicare plan that best fits your needs. Check out a variety of resources in the article, Where to go for info.