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What if I missed the Medicare Open Enrollment Period? Can I still make a change to my 2021coverage?

People who are currently enrolled in a Medicare Advantage (MA) plan have until March 31, 2021 to switch to another MA plan or to Original Medicare with or without a stand-alone prescription drug plan (Part D) during the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period (MAOEP).

The MA OEP occurs each year from January 1 through March 31, and it is only available to people who have a Medicare Advantage plan. One change can be made during this period, which will take effect the first of the month following the month you enroll. For example, if you switch to a new Medicare Advantage Plan in February, your new coverage begins March 1.

Changes that can be made during this period include switching to:

a different MA plan with drugcoverage

a different MA plan without drugcoverage

Original Medicare and a Part D planor

Original Medicare without a Part Dplan

This is an opportunity to make a change if you find tour coverage is not working for you; for example, one of you doctors no longer accepts your plan.

Other news:

For those with Prescription Advantage or “Extra Help”; these programs help withpaying for your prescription drugs. They also offer a Special Enrollment Period allowing you to change your prescription drug plan if needed outside of OpenEnrollment.

Those with Prescription Advantage can do this only once each year.

Those with “Extra Help” can change once eachquarter.

The Massachusetts Medicare Savings Program pays your monthly Part B Premium thatis deducted from your Social Security income. The 2021 monthly Part B premium willbe

$148.50 in 2021. You will also be eligible for Extra Help from Social Security to help pay your prescription drug costs. You may be eligible if your income and assets are at or below these values.

Individual GrossIncome: $1,755/month

Couple GrossIncome: $2,371/month
Assets: $23,600

If you want to take advantage of any of these opportunities to change your plans or be screened for assistance call your local Senior Center at (508)634-2208 and a ask to speak with a SHINE Counselor. They can talk you through the process and discuss any consequences of changing plans.

The SHINE Program (Serving Health Insurance Needs of Everyone), is federally funded and state administered through the Executive Office of Elder Affairs. The Program annually certifies over 700 counselors statewide, that provide, unbiased, confidential counseling on all aspects Medicare, related private insurance products and financial assistance programs

The Central Mass SHINE Program office 508-422-9931

Visit us at our Central Mass Websitewww.shinema.orgfor useful information.