Under California Assembly Bill AB 151 California Medicare beneficiaries have an expanded right to sign up for a Medicare supplement (Medigap) policy (Plans A, C, F or F+) without undergoing health history screening if they are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage (HMO) MA/MAPD plan that reduced its benefits, increased its copays or terminated a treating provider for other than good cause ONLY if that plan sponsor also sells Medigap policies A, C, F or F+. This can be done during the Disenrollment Period of January 1st – February 14, 2013. The special election code that will be used will vary by carrier. So if you are with a HealthNet MAPD, you can switch to a HealthNet Medigap policy; if you are on a Blue Shield MAPD, you can switch to their Medigap policy; etc. You should first review what stand-alone drug plan will cover all of your drugs cost effectively. Once you submit a request for a stand-alone drug plan, that request will then cancel out your MAPD. At the same time you are applying for your drug plan, you will want to apply for enrollment onto one of the Medigap plans noted above with the same carrier you are on for your current MAPD.
Before making any changes, make sure you contact your MAPD carrier first to confirm which of the required plans are available and what the premium will be for you. Also review which stand-alone drug plan would work best for you on www.medicare.gov so you know what your monthly costs will be by making this change. If you have an insurance agent, ask the agent for assistance in understanding your options and making any possible changes.