Call one of our Team Members Today!

How to Switch from a Medicare Advantage Plan back to Original Medicare?

Switching from Medicare Advantage (MAPD) back to Original Medicare, also called Part A and Part B, is an easy process. The only thing you have to be aware of is when you are able to make this switch. 

You can typically return to Part A and B during the Annual Enrollment Period (October 15 to December 7) and Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period (January 1 to March 31) each year.

How to go back to Part A and Part B and/or add Part D

Whether you disenroll from your Advantage plan, also called Part C, during the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) or Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period (MAOEP), there are a couple of ways you can return:

  • Call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) and ask the phone representative to disenroll you from your Part C plan. Once you disenroll, you will automatically join Part A and Part B.
    • We recommend you call us first before doing this as you will want to sign up for a Medigap plan first to ensure you qualify for these plans.
  • Call your plan and ask for them to disenroll you. If you choose to leave your plan this way, it may take longer for your disenrollment to be processed.

It’s important to remember that Part A and Part B doesn’t cover your Part D prescription drugs. You may want to consider joining a stand-alone Part D (Prescription Drug Coverage) plan when you leave your Advantage plan. If you don’t have creditable drug coverage for 63 days in a row, Medicare can penalize you.

Since Part D is provided by private insurance companies, you will need to join a plan that covers your prescription drugs.  If you provide us with your list of medication we can conduct a full plan review to see which Medicare Insurance Carrier will provide the broadest coverage at the most affordable price. We will look at not only the lowest monthly premium cost but also the actual cost of each medication.  The lowest monthly premium plan is not always the lowest cost plan once you consider your actual drug cost.  

When will your coverage start?

When you request to disenroll from your Medicare Advantage plan, your disenrollment likely won’t take effective immediately. In fact, it should become effective the first month after you request to disenroll from the plan. If you request to disenroll on February 4, you will officially leave your plan on March 1.

It is important that you prepare in advance of requesting to be disenrolled, to ensure all needed coverages will be in place (as you are expecting to be in place) such as your Part D coverage and a Medigap plan to ensure you are protected correctly.  

Make sure you know exactly when you will be officially disenrolled from your plan. Otherwise, you might run into coverage troubles. One common mistake is assuming you were disenrolled after you called the plan and you go see a Doctor that is outside of your Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) plan Network.  

Please ensure you are fully enrolled back into Original Medicare before seeing Doctors that your Medicare Advantage plan would not cover.  

Medicare Part C Eligibility

Special enrollment periods

The Annual Enrollment Period and Open Enrollment Period may not be the only periods of time in which you can switch from an Advantage plan and return back to Original Medicare.

You may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period, or a special circumstance, which allows you to drop your MA plan at other times during the year.

Following are some examples that activate a special enrollment period. 

  • You moved to a new address that is no longer part of your plans service area.
  • Your are losing coverage from your Medicare Advantage Plan
  • Your Medicare Advantage Plan is no longer being offered in your area.
  • You joined an Advantage plan for the first time to try it out and within 12 months you change your mind and want to return back to Original Medicare

There may be other reasons that can create a special enrollment period.  We would encourage you to contact one of our Medicare Insurance Agents to go over any and all options to help you disenroll from a Medicare Advantage plan.  We can be reached at (562) 735-3553 x1