Bye Bye Annual Election Period, Hello Annual Disenrollment Period!

The Annual Election Period (AEP) is finally over! Now what?

Medicare beneficiaries will have an opportunity to switch from a Medicare Advantage plan back to Original Medicare.  This event is called the Annual Disenrollment Period and runs from January 1st through February 14th 2018. 

Why do we have this period?

Medicare Advantage plans have networks, unlike Original Medicare with a Medicare supplement plan.  When Medicare Advantage plans first came into the market place, many Medicare beneficiaries who enrolled into the plan did not fully understand how the Medicare Advantage plans worked, and often they would find out in January that their doctors did not participate in the network or that their drugs were not included on the formulary list.  You can imagine this created a great deal of anxiety for the Medicare beneficiaries, especially those who were being treated for serious medical conditions. 

So Medicare created an Annual Medicare Disenrollment Period.  Medicare beneficiaries can now use this time period to return to Original Medicare.

Important things to remember during this Annual Disenrollment Period!

  • Can’t change from one Medicare Advantage Plan to another
  • Anyone in a Medicare Advantage Plan can use this disenrollment period
  • Medicare beneficiaries will also get a Special enrollment Period to join a Part D drug plan. This is because many Advantage plans have prescription drugs built into them.
  • Annual Disenrollment Period does not guarantee acceptance into a Medicare Supplement plan. You still must answer the health questions on the application.  There is one exception to this rule – if you have been enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan for a year and it was your first time, you can use a special election period once in your lifetime to go back to original Medicare and a supplement without answering any health questions.

If you have any further Medicare questions, please contact SMG Health at 269-903-2510 and one of our local representatives will be happy to answer your questions.


Joe Garcia - CEO & Owner SMG Health Portage MIJoe Garcia, MBA, CLTC
CEO SMG Health
1300 W. Centre Avenue
Portage, MI 49024
Toll Free 855-205-4928