If you want to change to a Medicare Advantage HMO plan, that option is not available to you until Annual Enrollment (10/15-12/7) when you can select an HMO that will cover your medical and drug benefits that would be effective January 1st. Please remember that if you wish to make this change to a managed care plan, you should confirm that the doctors you want to retain are all in the same medical group and will take an HMO.
If you want to stay on a Medigap policy but change your drug plan, please be aware that like Medicare Advantage/HMO plans, that change can only be requested during Annual Enrollment to be effective January 1st.
Regarding making a change in Medigap policies during the calendar year, there are 2 potential options for you to consider. In California, for Medigap enrollees only, you are able in the 30 days following your birthday to change carriers and/or Medigap plans as a guaranteed issue – no health history underwriting – in order to lower your premium and potentially lessen your benefits if you select a different Medigap plan. The second option is not offered by all carriers, but there may be a carrier who will provide a special guaranteed issue period open to people already on a Medigap policy who want to change to a “like”/same plan and/or different carrier in order to lower their premium. However, if someone decides to change to a different plan with lesser benefits than their current plan, and then decide they want to go back to their previous plan with greater benefits, they would have to undergo health history underwriting and could be declined.
Make sure you talk with a professional advisor to make sure you are aware of the impact of any changes you may want to make.