Your Medicare Advantage Plan is Being Discontinued – Now What?

By | January 14, 2013

Every year several Medicare Advantage plans become discontinued. If your plan becomes discontinued, does that leave you out in the cold? Not exactly, you will automatically be enrolled in traditional Medicare.

So you are covered, right? Well, maybe not quite. Medicare Advantage plans typically offer more benefits than traditional Medicare provides. So, it is important to understand what to do.

This excerpt from an article from Kiplinger outlines your choices:

It may seem easy just to switch to another plan offered by your current insurer, but that might not be your best deal. In many cases, the insurer may be discontinuing its Medicare Advantage private fee-for-service plan that lets you use any participating doctor or hospital, but it may continue to offer a Medicare HMO or regional preferred-provider-organization plan in your area. Those other plans, however, may not cover all of the doctors and hospitals that your former plan did, may require prior authorization before using specialists and have a different cost-sharing structure than your current plan–leaving you with more expenses by the end of the year.

You could find a better deal through another Medicare Advantage plan, which provides all of your medical and prescription-drug coverage. Or you could stay in traditional Medicare and buy a Medigap plan plus a Medicare Part D prescription-drug policy to fill in the gaps.

This is the perfect time to assess your options–open enrollment season for Medicare Advantage and Medicare prescription-drug coverage runs from November 15 to December 31, and during this time you can sign up for any plan regardless of your health.

This is not open-enrollment season for Medigap plans. You have the full range of Medigap choices available only within six months after you sign up for Medicare Part B. If you apply after that, Medigap insurers can generally deny you coverage or raise your rates because of your health. But if your Medicare Advantage or Medigap plan leaves the business, insurers must offer you Medigap plans A, B, C or F regardless of your health. Plan F is the most popular.


When you are reviewing new plans, it is important to compare all costs. Compare the premiums as well typical out-of-pocket medical expenses and drugs. Also, look at the exclusions and coverage for major medical conditions.