You can switch from your Medicare private health plan (except MSA plan) to Original Medicare during the Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period (MADP). You can only make this coverage change if you have a Medicare private health plan (also known as a Medicare Advantage plan). The MADP will occur every year from January 1 to February 14.
All counties in the Region VII Area Agency on Aging service area have trained counselors to answer questions about Medicare and Medicaid. If you are experiencing problems with your drug plan, the very first telephone call to make is to the plan itself. Then, a call to Medicare or Social Security will often solve the issue. You can also call the Michigan Medicare/Medicaid (MMAP) hotline number at 1-800-803-7174 for assistance.
Medicare Hotline: 800-633-4227
Social Security: 800-772-1213
Medicare/Medicaid Assistance Program: 800-803-7174
Region VII AAA: 800-858-1637
Those who have a special enrollment period can enroll before or after the annual enrollment period of October 15th through December 7th.
Special Enrollment Periods are granted for a number of reasons:
Persons new to Medicare, either turning 65 or receiving disability. You may join a plan 3 months before you receive Medicare, the first month of coverage, and 3 months after. That is a 7 month window to enroll in a plan. The earliest prescription coverage can begin is the first day of the month your Medicare part A (Hospital) and/or B (Medical) begin.
Persons eligible for “Extra Help.” “Extra Help” is available for single persons with incomes no greater than $17,6550 per year and resources under $13,640 and for married couples with a yearly income under $23,895 and resources under $27,250.
Person whose Creditable Cover ends. A person who is losing their current coverage because they are retiring or because the employer is no longer offering prescription drug coverage will not have a penalty added to their monthly premium in this situation.
The Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period. During the first 45 days of each year you can leave your Medicare Advantage Plan and change to original Medicare with or without also selecting a stand-alone Medicare prescription Drug plan.
Other reasons for a Special Enrollment Period include moving in/out of a nursing home or loss of Low Income Subsidy (Extra Help).
If you do not wish to enroll in a prescription plan:
- Apply for a MiRx Card with a 5% to 25% discount on prescription drugs. There is no monthly premium, no cost for the discount card, and no age limit. Each participant must be a resident of Michigan, have no other drug coverage, and have an income level at or below the state’s median income level. For one person, this amount is an annual income of $27,930 or less, for two people $37,470 or less and more for families. Call toll-free 1-866-755-6479 or download an application at miRX.org or call Region VII Area Agency on Aging at 1-800-858-1637.
- Ask your physician for drug samples.
- Apply to the manufacturer of the drug for a free supply. The address and/or phone number can be found on-line at needymeds.org, or from a pharmacist.
- Increase your chances of maintaining good health by practicing proper nutrition, get a flu shot, exercise, and wash your hands regularly. Many colleges and fitness centers offer a senior membership discount or a class designed specifically for seniors.
Counties with Prescription Drug Programs:
- Bay: 1-989-895-4100
- Clare: 1-800-952-2160
- Gladwin: 1-800-952-0056
- Gratiot: 1-989-875-5246
- Isabella: 1-800-878-0726
- Midland – 989-633-3700
- Tuscola: 1-800-843-6394
Looking to volunteer for the MMAP? Give us a call, 1-800-858-1637.