We’ve heard from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) that they are still having some problems with their personalized health plan search tool on Medicare.gov. This is a critical time for accurate information as beneficiaries are still in their Annual Election Period (AEP) and have the right to join, switch or disenroll from Part D plans and/or Medicare Advantage plans. After making a choice, they must stay in that plan for the following year (with a few exceptions, including being about to disenroll from an MA plan and return to Original Medicare during the Annual Disenrollment Period from Jan. 1 – Feb. 14).
Because of this critical choice time, we’ve asked CMS to give any beneficiaries who join a plan that does not best suit their needs because of inaccurate information provided on Medicare.gov a Special Election Period (SEP) to choose another plan.
CMS expects to have this problem resolved by Thursday 12/23. In the meantime, beneficiaries can still use the Medicare Plan Finder tool to complete general plan searches and enroll in 2011 plans. Beneficiaries can complete general plan searches by entering their health coverage and Part D low-income subsidy information, as well as a Drug List ID and password date to retrieve a previously saved drug list. Beneficiaries can continue to enroll in 2011 plans using either the general search feature of the Medicare Plan Finder or the Enroll Now tool.
We will keep you updated of any new developments.
For more info on other situations that trigger a SEP, see our section Special Election Periods for Parts C and D