Open Enrollment: Medicare vs. Marketplace

As the fall and winter months approach, you’re bound to hear about Medicare.  That’s because Medicare Open Enrollment starts October 15 and ends December 7.  During this time, a member can make changes to their Medicare prescription drug plan and/or their Medicare Advantage plan.

Also, this year you’ll likely hear about the Health Insurance Marketplace, commonly referred to as exchanges.  The Open Enrollment Period for the Marketplace plans (October 1 – March 31) overlaps with Medicare Open Enrollment (October 15 – December 7), which can be confusing.  Please keep in mind Medicare isn’t part of the Health Insurance Marketplace.  So, those covered by Medicare don’t need to do anything; the Marketplace won’t affect your Medicare choices.

Below are some of the more frequently asked questions related to Medicare and the Marketplace:

Question:  Will I lose Medicare coverage? Answer: No.

Question:  Do I need a new Medicare card? Answer: No.

Question:  Do I have to re-enroll in my supplement plan through the Marketplace? Answer: No, supplemental policies aren’t available in the Marketplace.

Question:  Will seniors in Medicare have to buy supplemental insurance? Answer:  No.

Question:  Will I be fined if I don’t buy coverage in the Marketplace? Answer:  No, as long as seniors have Medicare Part A.