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I’m on a Medicare Advantage plan. Earlier this month, I went to my doctor and discovered they are not in-network. I don’t want to go to someone new. What can I do? Can I switch Medicare Advantage plans anytime?
Mary from Sun City, Arizona
We understand your frustration and that you want to stay with the doctor.
You can not change your Medicare Advantage plan at any time, but there are two primary opportunities annually: The Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period and the Annual Enrollment Period.
The Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment period is between January 1 and March 31 each year. During this time, you can review your Medicare Advantage plan options and make a switch. If you miss your opportunity to make a change during that time, you would have to wait until the fall for the Annual Enrollment Period from October 15 to December 7 (unless you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period).
Because the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period is likely the only time you can make a change until the fall, it’s an excellent time to review your plan. It is crucial to consider what you are looking for in a Medicare Advantage plan besides coverage of your doctors and specialists.
“There are two primary times when you can make a Medicare Advantage plan change. During the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period, and the Annual Enrollment Period. You may also make changes during a Speical Enrollment Period, if you qualify.“
Before switching plans, you’ll want to ask yourself:
Thinking about these factors can help inform your decision, find a plan that fits your needs, and potentially save you money and stress.
Connie Health has a plan comparison tool that sorts your numerous plan options. Simply enter your doctors, specialists, and prescription medications, and our technology will compare available plans tailored to your needs – quickly narrowing your choices.
In addition to finding the best health plan for you, taking care of your health in other ways is essential. Sun City has community resources, like the Banner Olive Branch Senior Center. They offer activities such as exercise programs and cooking classes to help you stay active and connect with others in your community.
Finding the right health plan and staying healthy and active can improve your quality of life. I hope this provides guidance and assurance in finding a plan that best fits your needs and covers your doctors and specialists. I wish you the best. If you have additional questions or need help, please call me at (623) 223-8884 (TTY: 711).
Last updated: February 27, 2023
Read more by Sammy Menton
I am an Arizona Life and Health Insurance Licensed Agent and have been helping people with Medicare since 2009. I enjoy coaching youth and high school sports, watching sports, and spending time with family. I also like taking road trips and vacationing anywhere that has a beach.