If I have a Medicare Advantage (Plan C) managed care plan, can I switch back to regular Medicare Parts A and B?

Noel in puerto rico asked...

If I have a Medicare Advantage (Plan C) managed care plan, can I switch back to regular Medicare Parts A and B?

Expert Answer

You can leave your Medicare Advantage plan and return to traditional Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) and Part B (medical insurance) at any time. Just give your managed care plan 30 days written notice, and they will notify Medicare.

Once you're back in traditional Medicare, you have to pay a monthly premium for Part B, which is $96.40 for most people. If your income is over $82,000 ($164,000 for a couple), your monthly premium will be slightly higher. Most people have their Medicare premium deducted from their Social Security check. If you aren't collecting Social Security, Medicare will bill you for this premium. For most people, there's no premium for Part A.

Medicare Parts A and B won't pay all your medical bills. Many people fill the gaps in Medicare coverage by buying a private medigap supplemental insurance policy. If you've been enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan for a while and voluntarily leave it, you may not be able to enroll in any medigap plan you want. Some plans may require you to undergo medical underwriting (an examination of your health history and a physical exam), and based on the results may not sell you a policy, or may charge you higher rates.

Editor's Note: The coverage described above may have changed. For the most recent information, please check Medicare.gov's page about signing up and switching plans.