Enrollment Guide 2021
WHEN IS OPEN ENROLLMENT?
Traditional Medicare Open Enrollment Period: October 15 to December 7
What Can I Do During The Open Enrollment Period?
- Switch from a Medicare Advantage plan to a different Medicare Advantage plan.
- Switch from a Medicare Advantage plan that does not offer drug coverage to a Medicare Advantage plan that offers drug coverage.
- Switch from a Medicare Advantage plan that offers drug coverage to a Medicare Advantage plan that does not offer drug coverage.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN TRADITIONAL MEDICARE AND MEDICARE ADVANTAGE
What's new with Medicare Advantage in 2021
Medicare Advantage plans will cover End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD), also known as kidney failure. ESRD occurs when an individual’s kidneys permanently and completely stop functioning.
Prior to 2021, patients with end-stage renal disease were unable to enroll in Medicare Advantage plans unless there was a Medicare Special Needs plan available in their area for ESRD patients. That is changing for 2021, under the terms of the 21st Century Cures Act. If you have ESRD, you can join a Medicare Advantage Plan during Open Enrollment (October 15–December 7, 2020). Your plan coverage will start January 1, 2021. This could be particularly advantageous for beneficiaries with ESRD who are under age 65 and living in states that don’t guarantee access to Medigap plans for people under the age of 65.
TELEHEALTH & VIRTUAL SERVICES
Medicare Advantage plans cover telehealth and virtual services that can allow you to get medical or health services that generally occur in-person (like office visits and consultations) from a doctor or other health care provider who’s located elsewhere using real-time interactive audio and video technology.
Medicare Advantage Plans and providers who are part of certain Medicare Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) may offer more telehealth benefits than Original Medicare. These benefits are available no matter where you’re located, and you may be able to use them at home instead of going to a health care facility. Check with your plan to see what telehealth benefits they offer.