Minnesotans who started 2019 enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan have until March 31, to enroll in a different health care plan.

Until March 31 seniors can switch to a different Medicare Advantage Plan that includes Part D (prescription drug coverage) or drop their Medicare Advantage Plan, return to Original Medicare and enroll in a separate Medicare Part D Drug Plan.

“It’s important for consumers to review their Medicare coverage and make sure the plan is both affordable and provides access to doctors, clinics, hospitals and pharmacies they want and need,” said Kari Benson, executive director of the Minnesota Board on Aging.

To change plans, people need to visit the Medicare website (www.Medicare.gov), click the “change plans” button at the top, and follow the prompts.          

Medicare beneficiaries who want to know more about their health care choices can call the Senior LinkAge Line, (800) 333-2433, between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Specialists can provide callers with free, comprehensive, unbiased counseling.

The regular Medicare open enrollment for 2019 ended Dec. 7.  With the March 31 deadline, the special enrollment period for Medicare Advantage plans ends. It is possible that consumers may be eligible for other special enrollment periods through the end of the year.

Medicare coverage for beneficiaries who enrolled in a plan by Dec. 7 will be in effect through Dec. 31, 2019. The Medicare Open Enrollment period for coverage that begins on Jan. 1, 2020, will run from Oct. 15 through Dec. 7, 2019.

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