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Emily Whicheloe

Education Coordinator

What You Need to Know About Coronavirus and Medicare Coverage

As the number of cases of COVID-19 (also called coronavirus) increases, so does the importance of programs like Medicare in helping older adults, people with disabilities, and their families build and maintain their health and economic security. Accordingly, policymakers are taking critical steps to ensure program preparedness, keep beneficiaries and the public informed, and facilitate timely access to appropriate care.

There’s a Special Enrollment Period Available if you Experienced Plan Finder Problems

If you are dissatisfied with your plan selection because of misinformation you saw on Plan Finder, you can use a special circumstances Special Enrollment Period (SEP) to choose a new plan. This SEP exists to address enrollment problems that do not fit into any other SEP category or that are related to misinformation received from plans or Medicare.

Getting Started With the New Medicare Plan Finder

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) launched a redesigned version of the Medicare Plan Finder. Many of the functions are the same, but the look and feel has been updated, and the way you access a personalized or basic search has changed.

This post outlines some of the changes and provides a brief walkthrough of how to search for Medicare Advantage and Part D plans.

Medigap Changes in 2020

As a result of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA), individuals who are newly eligible for Medicare on or after January 1, 2020 will not be able to purchase Medigap Plan C or Plan F (including the Plan F high deductible option). This is because after January 1, 2020, MACRA prevents individuals new to Medicare from purchasing Medigaps that pay for the Part B deductible ($185 in 2019). Both Plan C and Plan F cover the Part B deductible.

Competitive Bidding Program Temporarily Lapses—Expected to Begin Again in 2021

On January 1, 2019, the durable medical equipment (DME) competitive bidding program temporarily ended.

The competitive bidding program was originally designed to reduce out-of-pocket expenses and help ensure that people with Medicare had access to quality DME, supplies, and services from suppliers they could trust. The program benefited people who had Original Medicare, lived in a competitive bidding area, and needed DME that fell under the competitive bidding program.

Can I change my Medicare coverage?

Dear Marci,

Last November, during Fall Open Enrollment, I switched into a new Medicare Advantage Plan. I have since realized that I do not want to be a part of this plan. Can I change my Medicare coverage?

What is Fall Open Enrollment?

Dear Marci,

I’ve heard that Fall Open Enrollment is coming up. What is Fall Open Enrollment, and what should I do to prepare for it?

– Andre (Dover, DE)