Health & Wellness

Medicare Annual Election Period Deadline is December 7th – Make Your Changes Now

The Medicare System offers beneficiaries many choices, and along with those choices are deadlines and changes in plans year after year. It is important to stay informed so that you can avoid costly mistakes and make the right choice for your current situation.

During the Annual Election Period you can change prescription drug plans, change Medicare Advantage plans, return to original Medicare, or enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan for the first time.  Enrollment changes take effect on January 1.

Even if you are happy with this year’s coverage you should research new options because insurance plans change their premiums, co-pays, drug coverage and deductibles from year to year.  For example, if the cost of just a few of your medications changes your out of pocket spending could go up or down by several thousand dollars. Other plans might offer you a more competitive package this year.

There are many things to consider when you evaluate individual plans and The Association of Mature American Citizens is here to help.

To speak with a licensed representative contact AMAC at 1-800-334-9330.
You can also use our Quick Quote Form to get started.

Become a memberDon’t miss out on all the benefits and offers you get for becoming an AMAC member.


Medicare Handy Reference Guide

When Can I Join a Medicare Advantage Plan?


You can join when you first become eligible at age 65. There is a 7 month window when you can join during your initial election period. The initial election period is 3 months before you turn 65, the month you turn 65 and 3 months after the month you turn age 65. For those over 65 who are still  working and receiving  health benefits  from  an employer, your initial election period will begin when you enroll in Part B.


Enrollment in 2011 is October 15th – December 7th. During this period beneficiaries can add, drop, or change coverage.

Review My Changes Now


The disenrollment period is 1/1/12 – 2/14/12. If you are dissatisfied with your health care plan, a beneficiary may drop a Medicare Advantage Plan and return to Original Medicare with the option of enrolling into a stand-alone PDP.


Beneficiaries may be eligible to enroll in a new plan during a Special Election Period. There are eligibility requirements such as change in residence, or a loss of coverage through an employer or Union Group Health Plan. In most  cases, you  must  stay  enrolled for  that calendar year starting the date your coverage begins, except for certain situations such as moving out of your plan’s service area or if you qualify for “extra help.”

Medicare Supplements / Medigap Plans

These plans provide coverage for medical expenses not covered or only partially covered by Medicare. Medigap’s name is derived from the notion that it exists to cover the difference or “gap” between the expenses reimbursed by Medicare and the total amount charged. Over the years new laws have brought many changes to Medigap Policies. For example, marketing for plans E, H, I and J have been stopped as of May 31, 2010. But, if you were already covered by plan E, H, I or J before June 1, 2010, you can keep that plan. Medigap plans M and N took effect on June 1, 2010, bringing the number of offered plans down to ten from twelve. Beneficiaries can enroll in a Medicare Supplement at any time. However, after the age of 67, you may be subject to the plan’s underwriting guidelines.

To speak with a licensed representative contact AMAC at 1-800-334-9330.
You can also use our Quick Quote Form to get started.

Become a memberDon’t miss out on all the benefits and offers you get for becoming an AMAC member.


Part D Drug Coverage

Prescription Drug Plans come with deductibles and co-payments. Once your total cost of drugs used since the start of the year reaches $2,840 in 2011, or $2,930 in 2012 you are in a gap known as the donut hole. While in the donut hole, most plans will offer a 50% discount on brand name drugs from the manufacturers. When your out-of-pocket costs (the amount you spend while in the donut hole PLUS the deductibles  and  co-pays  you spent before you reached the donut hole gap) reaches $4,550 in 2011, or $4700 in 2012 your prescription drug coverage resumes and you pay no more than 5% of the cost of drugs until the end of the year. This cycle starts over each year.


 For those eligible for Medicare, you must choose one of two paths: the traditional “original” Medicare plan, or a federally subsidized Medicare Advantage Plan. Many who do opt for the traditional Medicare also purchase a “Medigap” policy and a separate prescription drug policy (Part D) to patch the holes in their coverage. Medicare Advantage Plans give you the option of receiving Medicare benefits through a private health plan. Under most circumstances, Medicare Advantage Plans will save you money while increasing your coverage.

When shopping for a plan, it is important to compare premiums, co-payments and deductibles. Take a look at how much you’d have to contribute toward services such as hospital stays and skilled nursing care. Does the Medicare Advantage Plan provide extra coverage you want that Original Medicare doesn’t cover? Be sure to talk to your benefits administrator to see how your other coverage or health insurance works with Medicare.

To speak with a licensed representative and find out more about original Medicare and Medicare Advantage Plans, contact AMAC at 888-262-2006. The Association of Mature American Citizens is here to help.

To speak with a licensed representative contact AMAC at 1-800-334-9330.
You can also use our Quick Quote Form to get started.

Become a memberDon’t miss out on all the benefits and offers you get for becoming an AMAC member.


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7 years ago

I was told I had insurance then bam all in one day received a letter saying I was denied. So I called and to no avail still waiting for someone to call. I was promised a call, booklets, and none of the above have been done…… All a bunch of lies… And I even called before the deadline dates…..

Ed Stoddard
10 years ago

What kind of rag-tag organization sends out an information newsletter containing information from last year?

The same kind of organization that was happy to take my money for a 2-year membership, but too stingy (or too disorganized) to send me a membership card so I can use the benefits of membership.

I don’t trust these guys any more than AARP (which I don’t trust at all).

I see no benefit to membership & will not renew …

10 years ago

I recently have been put on lots of diabetic medications. i missed the prescription enrollment period. is there some source for insurance to help me cover the monthly prescription billing??????

Gordon Henley
10 years ago

My question is whether I can replace my Medigap plan with another, to reduce my cost and, especially, to get away from AARP. I can’t get a clear answer from Medicare’s website, even after two email responses from their support people. Best I can tell is that the “open enrollment” period, which closes TODAY, doesn’t apply to current Medigap subscribers, meaning no guaranteed issue rights, and that in order to switch I need to find an insurance company that will take me. Also, Medicare is still playing their Open Enrollment radio commercial which says we can switch to a less expensive plan???

9 years ago
Reply to  Gordon Henley

You have the right idea. The open enrollment window DOES NOT apply to you if you have a Medicare supplement plan if you want to make a change….UNLESS you want to change out of your supplement and into an Advantage plan or if you want to change your part D drug plan. The Part D plans do not come wrapped up together with a supplement and must be purchased seperately, and these plans can only be changed during this annual election period or during a few other limited times like when you are confined to a nursing home.

If you want to change to another supplement it can be done any time during the year BUT you must meet the health underwriting requirements. In other words, they are going to ask you health questions and you can be turned down. Things to note: you don’t necessarily need to be squeaky clean health-wise in order to change to a different supplement. You can have experienced some fairly serious health issues in the past (heart attack, mild cancer) and may qualify to change if these things have been quiet for a few years. Also, some companies are more strict than others, so look around.

Third and most important, don’t ever expect accurate answers from Medicare or Social Security when you call with questions. I”ve been in this business for about 14 years. I could tell you stories that would make you either laugh hysterically or cry about misinformation that is given out by these government agencies. My honest estimate is they will be wrong about 35 to 40% of the time, even on the basic no-brainer things. I honestly don’t know where they find some of these people. So do your homework and don’t believe anybody immediately, especially if it is an important matter. Hope that helps.

10 years ago

Advantage plans aren’t for everyone. They are HMO and many Drs. in our area including mine won’t except them.
They tried to assign me a Dr. but I dropped them. I sure don’t want a new Dr. at this stage of my life.

Nancy Cooney
10 years ago

What happens to the 25% of Medicare recipients who have Advantage plans when Obamacare goes into full effect? I understand they have eliminated the Advantage plans, which leaves us nowhere. It is impossible for Medicare recipients to find a doctor in private practice. I tried primary care physicians who were taking new patients (eight of them) in my area, and not one would take new Medicare patients. Doctors cannot be forced to take patients, nor would I want such a thing, although I fully expect th administration and his supporters in Congress to try to force everyone to do whatever. We have already lost medical professionals because of Obamacare. I’m wondering if eliminating Advantage plans is one of the first steps in eliminating old people. I have heard that illegal immigrants will get the 500 billion dollars saved by eliminating the Advantage plans. A nurse who called Mark Levin today said he was instructed that illegal immigrants will not be held to the rules of Obamacare that the rest of us will. Do you have any of these answers yet? My insurance company wouldn’t tell me anything except what was going to happen in 2012.

10 years ago


10 years ago
Reply to  bIL;L GUILFOIL

Hey! Someone in my Facebook group shared this site with us so I came to look it over. I’m etifniedly loving the information. I’m book-marking and will be tweeting this to my followers! Superb blog and excellent style and design.

10 years ago

I dropped my membership with AARP because of Obamacare and the large profits made selling insurance products.
I will not renew my membership with AMAC because they are selling insurance products, too.

10 years ago
Reply to  Marsha

It is certainly your call, but I think that would be a mistake. There is a vast difference between AARP pushing Obamacare (and throwing their members under the bus so they can make more profit) and AMAC who has been steadfast in supporting their members responsibly, at the cost of higher profits. Profits rom selling insurance isn’t bad; profits from sacrificing your members aren’t so hot. And no, I do not work for AMAC.

Terry Hoffman
10 years ago

I’d just like them to quit forcing me to have it. I am a disabled veteran with an inability to work. The VA hospital system cannot bill medicare so I have no use for it but they still deduct it from my disability (social security) payments.

10 years ago

I am a Veteran (69 year- old) and have been getting my medical care through the VA for the past 11 years. I also have Medicare A & B. I get my drugs through the VA for $9.00 per month for each perscription. I get optical through the VA as well. So far I have not required Medicare Part C.

My question is: Do I need an insurance policy to cover the Medicare C area? And do you have a dental plan? Any suggestions would be appreciated. I have not applied for a Medicare Advantage Plan since I have been eligible for Medicare (just praying nothing medically arises that I can’t pay for as I go).

Pamela Smith
10 years ago
Reply to  Muriel

Kindly call 800-334-9330. One of our representatives will gladly help you.

10 years ago

We have been in Medicare Advantage plans for several years, and we really like them. They are all inclusive, and we do not have to fool with a supplemental plan that covers the 20% that the original Medicare doesn’t pay.

We are currently looking at a Blue Cross plan in PA where we live with a very low monthly premium; however, it doesn’t cover any dental as our previous plan did.

Is there a dental plan available that we could purchase to pick up some of the costs for routine work? I tried accessing your dental information, but the website wasn’t available.

As to AARP, we dropped our membership when they supported Obamacare. I also read a great article in Bloomburg News that describes how they make money off the products they sell. They cited two examples of seniors in the article: one purchasing health insurance and the other automobile coverage. In both cases, they could purchase the coverage outside of AARP at much less cost. The gentleman was paying $1,444 annually for coverage for two cars from AARP, but in checking with other insurance companies he found that he could get coverage from Geico for $683.60. The difference in the cost was the royalty that The Hartford was paying AARP.

The other couple purchased health insurance but learned that they were paying $1,079 a year more than Mutual of Omaha charged for the same coverage. These folks were living on Social Security and called AARP to see if they would match the price, and they would not. The lesson here is to check with other companies and not to believe that AARP is looking out for the seniors. That’s why I am so happy to see another organization like AMAC provide them with some real competition.

G. West
10 years ago
Reply to  Cathy

I also just dropped my Auto and Home Owners Insurance with AARP’s Hartford. I had our auto insurance with them for over 15 years with no claims and no traffic violations. I save over $800 dollars a year with another company and even had better coverage. The through is AARP gets a share of premium that seems to be in excess of what is being charged for their insurance. I also got a quote from another agent that also represented Hartford Insurance and the quote was about $700 less than my quoted renewal premium from Hartford through AARP, Members are told they are getting special rates because they belong to AARP. NOT SO!!!! A genuine rip of seniors. I wrote a letter complaining and never received a response from AARP.

harold douglas
10 years ago

I’m a member of AMAC and I am 62 years old and on disability. How do I get medical insurance?

10 years ago
Reply to  harold douglas

Kindly call 800-334-9330. One of our representatives will gladly help you.

10 years ago

I don’t know what to do about this whole health care thing. I have AARP with Secure Horizons and Prescription Solutions, and I have always been very pleased with both, I’ve heard that AARP “sold out to Obamacare.” If this is true, I want to change my healthcare. I don’t know who to ask about this. Do you have any suggestions?

10 years ago
Reply to  Sharon

Yes, You are Correct about AARP jumping on the OBAM CARE Wagen. Because their benefactor health ins. cos do not carry the Advantage Plans. i dealt with them , like you, and they forever kept increasing their premiums. i’v been in an Advantage plan for 2 yrs, and like it much better. although an Advantage Plan is not too good for long term health issues.

Carolyn Rice
10 years ago
Reply to  Sharon

I am an AMAC member and a Medicare Advantage user and representative. Look at your “Medicare and You Handbook.” In the back it lists all the Insurance companies in your area which have plans available. Then I suggest you call a local agent to sit down with you and explain all your options. Many of them will meet you at your home if you prefer. If you call a certain (any) company, ask them to put you in touch with a broker. A broker will have a number of plans available in order to find which plan will best meet your particular needs. They will also usually have one or more Medicare Supplements (Medigap Plans) if that type plan is one you prefer after your agent has thoroughly explained your benefits and options. It shouldn’t be a hard process!! Good luck!

Pat Lesser
10 years ago
Reply to  Sharon

I don’t like anything AARP recommends. Depending on where you live, there are many Medicare Advantage plans out there. Right now, I like Humana which is in my area.

C Milan
10 years ago
Reply to  Pat Lesser

My husband has had Humana Medicare Advantage for 3 years and I have been enrolled for 2 years. We are both very happy with Humana. You need to check in your state/area to see what is available at what price. Each state varies with costs and benefits available.

Pedro Martin
10 years ago

I have Medicare A & B but I need a plan to cover the 20% that Medicare does not cover.
I would like this plan to include payments for prescription drug co-pays and doctor visit co-pays.
I live in Dutchess County.

Carolyn Rice
10 years ago
Reply to  Pedro Martin

Please see the answer to the question immediately above yours. Many Medicare Advantage plans include prescription drug benefits and low or no extra cost, other than the co-pay per prescription. All MA plans are county specific and you will have to choose one that is available in Dutchess County.

Pedro Martin
10 years ago

I have Medicare A & B but I need a plan to cover the 20% that Medicare does not cover.
I would also like this plan to cover prescription drugs co-pays & doctor visit co-pays.
I live in Dutchess County, New York.

Ron Carpenter
10 years ago

I get very good health insurance through United Healthcare and am a member of AARP. I want to dump AARP but do not want to jeopardize my rates and coverage. What does AMAC endorse for similar coverage?

Lorraine Smith
10 years ago
Reply to  Ron Carpenter

I don’t know what to do about this whole health care thing. I have AARP with Secure Horizons and Prescription Solutions, and I have always been very pleased with both, but someone wrote that AARP “sold out to Obamacare.” If this is true, I want to change my healthcare. I don’t know who to ask about this. Do you have any suggestions?

10 years ago
Reply to  Ron Carpenter

Anyone who belongs to AARP better understand they have sold you out to OBAMA care. You will find your coverage is less and less when the act gets fully going and you will be hit with dozens of fees and surcharges. Also it is through companies that are so proift driven and give payments to AARP> AARP is a for profit organization scamming the public. Anyone who uses their products is getting screwed and will really get hammered after 2012. Look OBAMACARE is bad and AARP never got their members the best coverage. They just hacked out a deal with a few and your policy is pretty crappy. An Advantage plan with say Blue Cross is far better.

Cynthia Anderson
10 years ago

I would like information as to any midigap or advantage plans you are connected with as well as the Part D prescription coverage.

John Hudgins
10 years ago

I am 65 and am still working with a medical co-pay plan at work through Anthem. I am also a 26-year retired military. When I turned 65 I signed up for Medicare part A. Should I obtain a policy(s) under part B?

Jerry Merryman
10 years ago
Reply to  John Hudgins

if you are retired military you should be eligible for Tricare for Life at no cost which pays the amount of healthcare not paid for by Medicare.

Carol B.
10 years ago
Reply to  Jerry Merryman

My husband was Retired Military and I have TriCare for Life.
It is one of the best you can get I’ve been told.
I have Medicare too, and together, it leaves me with minimal drug cost. No Co-pay for Dr. visits.
I refused to join AARP years ago because of the things they back. (I’m in my 70’s)

There are several good Companies out there, Humana is one. United Health is another.
Check with your local insurance agents for advice. I did. Check your State and see if they don’t have
a service to aid Seniors in Insurance options. They may have their own agents available to advise you.

Sally Indgjer
10 years ago

I have First Health Part D from Coventry Health Care for my Part D Prescription Coverage. I would like to change my plan. I have my supplemental coverage through AMAC with Mutual of Omaha. Could you please tell me if I can get less expensive coverage thought AMAC? What company do you deal with? Could you please give me the name of that company and the costs involved? Thank you.

Pamela Smith
10 years ago
Reply to  Sally Indgjer

Hi Sally,

Kindly call 888-262-2006 xt 1015, xt 1005, or xt 1014. Our representatives can give you the detailed information you need.

10 years ago

Amen to that Joe

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