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home | Medicare | How to Disenroll From a Medicare Adv . . .

How to Disenroll From a Medicare Advantage Program

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Every year between January 1 and March 31 (the Open Enrollment Period) Medicare beneficiaries can make changes to their medical plans. If you are using traditional Medicare, you may elect to switch to an Advantage plan. If you are in an Advantage plan, you may elect to switch to another Advantage plan, or you may return to traditional Medicare.

If you want to leave an Advantage plan, there are three ways to disenroll:

1. If you want to switch from one Advantage plan to another, simply enroll in the new Advantage plan. You will be automatically disenrolled from your first plan on the day the new Medicare Advantage plan begins coverage.

2. If you want to disenroll from an Advantage plan and return to traditional Medicare you must do so in writing.

     a. You can call your present plan and request a disenrollment form (HCFA Form 566);

     b. You can call 1 (800) MEDICARE and request that your disenrollment be processed via 
        their computers;

     c. You can visit your local Social Security office and complete the disenrollment form there.

We strongly recommend that you choose to either a) complete and return the disenrollment form yourself; or c) visit your Social Security office to make your changes. Telephone requests to Medicare have more than once been known to go astray, and you will have no record of having requested the change.

When you fill out the disenrollment form and mail it in yourself, do so via Registered Mail, Return Receipt Requested. Granted, this means a trip to the post office and a small charge. However, this is the only way you will have a record of your disenrollmend request. Be sure to make a photocopy of the form before you mail it.

The switch will be effective at the end of the month in which the Medicare Advantage Plan or the Social Security office receives your request. The earlier in the month you make your change request, the better your chances are that it will be processed smoothly. If you make your request in the second half of the month the change may not have gone through before the last day of the month.

If a medical claim is denied by Medicare because the change was not processed by the first of the following month, have your medical provider re-submit the bill. By the time the second submission has been received, the changes should have been processed.


·  When is Medicare Not Medicare?
·  Medicare Advantage HMOs
·  Medicare Open Enrollment