The 2023 Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) is over, but keep in mind you’re not necessarily married to your Medicare Advantage plan for the remainder of the year – and that goes for your Part D drug plan as well. 

You can make one more change between Jan. 1 and March 31 (Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period or MAOEP). This is something to consider if you run into any issues such as doctors out of network with your new plan, or perhaps the drugs you take are more expensive or not on the formulary with your new Part D or Part C Advantage plan. 

If you have a Medicare supplement, you can keep your exact Medigap Plan F, Plan G, or Plan N but simply change carriers to save $40 to $60 a month in premium. Or if you recently got a rate increase letter, it might be time to shop out the supplement market because there are vast differences in premiums for the exact same Medigap policy with identical coverage. 

So between Jan. 1 and March 31, if your Medicare Advantage plan is not all it is cracked up to be (and the agent who sold you the Advantage plan neglected to mention things like a $7,500 annual maximum out of pocket, or the 20% cost to you for all cancer treatments, Part B drugs, and a host of other services like outpatient or observation services), then keep in mind, you can change to original Medicare with a Medicare supplement that pays all or most of your costs left over after traditional Medicare pays its share. 

The key is to first apply for a Medicare supplement. You must pass underwriting first. Once you have proof the policy was approved and or issued, then and only then should you enroll in a Part D drug plan, which will automatically disenroll you from your Medicare Advantage the last day of the month.

Your new stand-alone part D drug plan and Medicare supplement will be effective the first of the next month. Most kinks in Advantage plans occur within the first month and most issues can be resolved by calling your agent or the customer service number, but issues that are not easily resolved may prompt you to consider changing.

Wishing you a Happy (and healthy) New Year.     

Chris Dewey is the founder of May River Medicare Insurance in Bluffton.