During Medicare Annual Enrollment (10/15/15 -12/7/15) beneficiaries can select to switch to a Medicare Advantage/HMO plan to be effective 1/1/2016. If, however, the beneficiary determines during 2016 that s/he would like to go back on 1/1/2017 to the same Medigap plan/Medigap carrier they were on during 2015, they have a guaranteed issue to so without undergoing health history underwriting. The beneficiary would select/apply for a stand-alone drug plan for 2017, which would then cancel the Medicare Advantage plan they elected for 2016; the beneficiary would also complete an application to re-sign with the same Medigap plan/Medigap carrier they had during 2015, requesting an effective date of effective 1/1/2017. Once the Medigap carrier sees that the Medicare Advantage plan has been replaced with a stand-alone drug plan as of 1/1/2017, the Medigap carrier would finalize the processing of the requested Medigap plan.
Since prescription drug plans can change from year to year, the beneficiary should always review his/her prescription drug needs in line with the 2017 stand-alone drug plans being offered that year.