Return of the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period

November 8, 2018 | Jagger Esch, President & CEO of Elite Insurance Partners and MedicareFAQ

Graphic depicting a medicare enrollment form

If you or a loved one is a Medicare beneficiary due to disability, you know how complicated and confusing Medicare can be. Each year changes are made to Medicare.

This year, for 2019, the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period will make a return. There will also be increases in Part A and Part B of Medicare, including premium and deductible increases.


Part A Premium Increases

If you have fewer than 40 quarters of employment or you’re disabled, you probably pay a monthly premium since you voluntarily enrolled in Medicare Part A. If this is the case, you will notice a premium increase.

If you had a minimum of 30 quarters or were married to someone with 30 quarters of coverage, you may buy into Part A at a lowered monthly fee, which would be $240 in 2019, an $8 increase from the fee in 2018.

Anyone that has exhausted other entitlement will pay the full premium, which to $437 a month for 2019 (an increase of $15 since 2018).


Part A Deductible Increases

The Part A deductible increased by $24, for a total of $1,340 in 2019. Beneficiaries with only Medicare as their coverage will be expected to pay this if admitted to the hospital.

If you have Original Medicare, you will be expected to pay a coinsurance amount of $341 per day for the 61st through 90th day of hospitalization in 2019. In 2018, the amount was $335 per day for 61 to 90 days of hospitalization.

For your lifetime reserve days, the amount went up from $670 to $682 per day.

If you’re in a skilled nursing facility, you can expect their daily coinsurance for days 21 through 100 of extended care services in a benefit period to be $170.50 in 2019, this is an increase from $167.50 in 2018.


Part B Premium Increases

The new Part B premium for 2019 will be $135.50, only $1.50 more per month than in 2018.

The income-related monthly adjustment amount (IRMAA) impacts about 5 percent of people with Medicare Part B.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has added a high-income bracket, if your income is $500,000 or more ($750,000 or more for a married couple) then you will pay $460.50 a month for Part B in 2019.


Part B Deductible Increase

The Part B deductible will increase from $183 to $185 in 2019. Beneficiaries with a Medicare Supplement Plan F or Plan C have coverage for this deductible.

Medicare Advantage plan enrollees have low copays and deductibles; this shouldn’t change with the increases in Medicare.


Help Affording Medicare Increases

Having coverage in addition to Medicare will help cover the costs of many of these increases. Talking to a licensed insurance expert can make your life easier and help you gain confidence in your health care coverage.


Return of the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period

The Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period (OEP) was discontinued in 2010 and now, in 2019, it will make a return. From 2011-2018 Medicare beneficiaries were given only the Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period (MADP), during this time beneficiaries were able to disenroll from their Medicare Advantage plan and switch only to Original Medicare.

Now all that is about to change. The Medicare OEP will begin on January 1st and end on March 31st. During this time Medicare beneficiaries will be able to disenroll from there Medicare Advantage plan and enroll into another Medicare Advantage plan or switch back to Original Medicare, with or without Part D coverage.

Medicare beneficiaries won’t be able to switch Part D prescription drug plans. If you are currently enrolled into a stand-alone Prescription Drug Plan, you will need to change your policy during the annual enrollment period from October 15 through December 7.

Each year, by September 30, Medicare Advantage recipients receive an Annual Notice of Change (ANOC) and Evidence of Coverage (EOC) from their existing insurance carrier for their Medicare Advantage and Medicare Prescription drug plan providers.

CMS posts plan changes for the following year sometime in October, several months before the new year. is a valuable online resource for Medicare beneficiaries; you can compare plans, look up information and learn about Medicare.


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Jagger Esch is the President & CEO of Elite Insurance Partners and MedicareFAQ, a senior healthcare learning resource center. As a young entrepreneur and seasoned insurance expert, he has a passion for helping people. Since the inception of his first company in 2012, he has been dedicated to helping those eligible for Medicare by providing them with resources to educate them on all their Medicare options. Jagger lives in the Florida sunshine state and loves boating with his family on the weekends.

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