Randy switched his Medicare Advantage plan on Dec. 7, 2021, during Medicare’s Annual Election Period (AEP) from Oct. 15 through Dec. 7, 2021. He called the 800-phone number from one of the TV commercials touting all the great benefits of a particular plan, including dental, vision, hearing aids, and free over-the-counter stuff. His welcome kit arrived with his new card, and the new plan was effective 1-1-2022. Great, he thought proudly, after selecting a plan all by himself!

His issues surfaced when he tried using his “New” plan with added benefits. He soon found out that the benefits he thought he was getting were not all they had claimed to be. Almost everything had limits and restrictions that he wasn’t informed about when he talked to the salesperson on the phone.

After realizing he didn’t get the benefits he was sold, he called our office in a panic for help. We reminded him why he should not switch plans in the future without talking to us first! As fiduciaries, we will assist him in researching all available plans in his geographic area each and every AEP. In addition, we will point out the “Gotcha’s” in every single plan before deciding to switch.

At American Retirement Advisors, our advisors take the time to get certified with nearly every Medicare insurance carrier every single year. This process takes each of us no less than 150 hours of testing annually! We do this so that when we discuss and research changing plans or even guide with plan selections for first-time enrollees, we help you find the most appropriate plan for you.

But all was not lost for Randy. He was in luck that he called us in time to use the “Open Enrollment Period” or OEP, Jan. 1 through Mar. 31. This period allows for a do-over for folks who signed up for a Medicare Advantage plan during the AEP but found out the new plan wasn’t the right one. Maybe the new plan was missing their doctor or hospital they wanted or, like in Randy’s case, didn’t have the extra benefits he thought he was getting.

So, if you are on a Medicare Advantage plan and that 2022 plan isn’t what you expected or the benefits weren’t what they promised, you have a second chance to get it right! We can help before Mar. 31!