Now’s your chance to change your Medicare Advantage plan

Now’s your chance to change your Medicare Advantage plan
Medicare Advantage enrollees get a new, second chance to find the right health coverage for 2019. The government added another enrollment window that started Jan. 1 and lasts until March 31. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Medicare Advantage enrollees get a new, second chance to find the right health coverage this year.

The government added another enrollment window that started Jan. 1 and lasts until March 31. It gives people with privately run versions of the federal Medicare program a chance to change plans or switch to regular Medicare. Until now, Medicare Advantage customers who wanted to make a big switch outside the program’s fall sign-up period had to rely on a shorter, more limited window.

But finding better coverage is no simple task. Kaiser Family Foundation Medicare expert Tricia Neuman says people need to approach this new opportunity cautiously. “In many areas there are more than a dozen plans available,” she said. “The choice can often be overwhelming.”

Some points to consider:

You can make one change during this new window and only if you’re already enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan.

You can switch to another Medicare Advantage plan or opt for original Medicare and then pick prescription drug coverage.

Any changes you make will start the first month after your plan gets your request, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

The government operates a plan finder at https://www.medicare.gov/ that can help people compare options.

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