Medicare does not allow brokers, agents, or insurance companies to talk with Medicare beneficiaries about 2016 plans until October. Until that time, only people who are now on Medicare drug plans and Medicare Advantage/HMO plans receive from their current Medicare stand-alone drug plan or Medicare Advantage/HMO carrier information in September on any changes in their 2015 benefits for 2016 order to decide whether or not to make a change.
Starting October 1st brokers, agents, and insurance companies can be contacted regarding 2016 plan benefit changes.
If an individual is happy with what they see after reading the plan materials from their current carrier for the upcoming year, they don’t have to do anything. The stand-alone prescription drug plan or Medicare Advantage/HMO will then automatically renew for 2016.
If, however, an individual decides they want to make a change in their stand-alone prescription drug plan or Medicare Advantage/HMO plan coverage during Medicare’s Annual Enrollment, their new plan change election can be submitted beginning October 15 thru December 7. The change will not be effective until January 1, 2016.
*NOTE: Medicare Supplement/Medigap policies do not change. They are defined by Medicare but can be offered by different insurance carriers at different premiums.