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How To Disenroll From A Medicare Advantage Plan


The procedure for disenrolling from a Medicare Advantage plan depends on whether you want to disenroll before or after coverage begins. 

Before Coverage Begins

  • If you change your mind before coverage starts, call the plan you joined before the date your coverage begins. Tell them you want to cancel your enrollment. Depending on when you call, the plan may ask you to fill out a form to leave.
  • Particularly if you are told you don't have to complete a form, write down the date, name, title, phone number, and mailing address of the person who told you the cancellation would be effective without your completing any paperwork. Also ask that person to send you written confirmation of your cancellation. Send your own written confirmation of the telephone conversation to the person with whom you spoke.
  • If you have to complete paperwork, make a photocopy and send it by a means that provides proof of receipt (such as an overnight service or U.S. Mail, Return Receipt Requested.)
  • Your coverage will remain in the plan you were enrolled in before the change. 

After Coverage Begins

  • If you enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan when you were first eligible for Medicare, you will have the option of going to Original Fee-for-Service Medicare once during the first 12 months of coverage.
  • After being in a Medicare Advantage Plan for a year, there is a 3-month period each year (January 1 through March 31) during which you can change plans for any reason. The change occurs effective the first day of the following month.
  • You can also elect to make a change each year between October 15 and December 31. The change is effective the following January 1.
  • You can also leave at any time if you have cause, such as you were misled, the plan terminates, or you move outside a company's service area.
  • Medicare Advantage Plans are required to process your request to leave the plan without any delays.
  • Unless you are enrolling in another Medicare Advantage plan, when you disenroll from a Medicare Advantage Plan you will be returned to Original Medicare.
  • If you change your mind and want to return to Original Medicare
    • You can disenroll through your Medicare Advantage Plan. However, you may find it more convenient and less of a problem if you go to your local Social Security office and ask them to process the disenrollment. The Social Security representative will help you complete the disenrollment form, CMS Form 566.
      • Take your Medicare Advantage Plan card with you.
      • Ask the person at Social Security when the Medicare Advantage coverage will stop and you will revert back to Original Medicare. It will usually be the first of the following month. If you apply late in the month, the start date may be postponed until the first of the following month.
      • Get a written receipt from Social Security.
  • If you want to change from one Medicare Advantage Plan to another Medicare Advantage Plan: The person who enrolls you in the new Medicare Advantage Plan will assist you in disenrolling from the prior Medicare Advantage Plan. The new plan has every incentive to help you disenroll as well as enroll since the new Medicare Advantage Plan will not start getting paid by the federal government until both are completed.

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