Things To Know If You Changed Your Insurance Plan

Question: I changed my plan during the Annual Open Enrollment Period and I still haven’t heard from my new plan, what do I do?

Answer: The Open Enrollment Period has come and gone. Many of you have made a change to your 2024 Insurance Plan, and now need your information from the new plan.

If you decided to change your insurance plan you will receive a confirmation letter of your enrollment, usually within 10 to 14 business days,. This confirmation has your Prescription Drug Coverage ID information on the top of the letter. This letter can be used as an insurance card, while you wait for the real one to arrive. But remember your new coverage does not begin until January 1, 2024. Your new insurance company has until then to get you the new information. There are over 65 million individuals with Medicare, so that could be a lot of packets of information to go out. I would ask you to be patient for a few more days.

If you haven’t heard from them by January 1st, I would suggest reviewing the documents that you have from that enrollment process to find the contact information for the new company. Call them to explain that you enrolled in one of their products and have not heard from them yet. Your enrollment documents included a confirmation number. That confirmation number is what they use to track down the enrollment. The delay may be a typo or misinformation on the application which can be corrected later.

You may need your Medicare card so that they can search their system for your records. Hopefully this phone call will solve your dilemma. If they have you in the system they can give your ID #’s over the phone, and you can give those numbers to your pharmacy/doctor’s office.

I would recommend contacting 1-800-medicare or www.medicare.gov. If you did your enrollment through one of these sources (on-line or with Medicare customer service). They will be able to trace the enrollment and give you the information you are looking for.

If you use your www.medicare.gov login you can actually track the process here and may even print out a temporary card to use until you get the one from your company. Your login on the Medicare website can do a lot of this research work for you. Even if you didn’t use the website for the process, you can create a login now and use that to determine what your coverage is and get a temporary card to use.

If you went to an individual, the insurance company’s website or their offices, my recommendation would be to track down the enrollment using that same source. It is helpful if you know the date and time you were helped and what your interpretation of what happened. Sometimes people ‘think’ they enrolled in a plan when they really just got information about it.

If you kept your same insurance coverage and did not make any changes, you may not need a new card, so continue to use the insurance cards you used in 2023. There are a number of companies that are sending new cards to all their members, so watch your mail for information from your plan.

If you don’t have enrollment records, you can still use the 1-800-medicare or www.medicare.gov tools. Like I said before, the website allows you to create a login and password that will track your coverage history and new plan enrollment. This login and password on this website will give you the information you need to track down your enrollment information.

It may be that your chosen product is pretty overwhelmed and having a hard time responding to the demand for their product. Every year some plans have higher than expected enrollment. That means this company or companies are swamped with enrollments and have to get out millions of packets to enrollees. Overall, this Medicare Open Enrollment process flows pretty smoothly. Millions of individuals with Medicare evaluate, and then choose to switch their insurance coverage to an alternate plan. MOST of these individuals navigate this process smoothly. If you are one of the individuals who are having a hard time, you did the correct thing in reaching out for help.

Once you get your new information and new insurance cards, be sure to inform your providers and your pharmacy, after 1-1-24, when your new coverage begins.

Janell Sluga is a Geriatric Care Manager helping seniors in our community access services and insurance. To reach her, please email editorial@post-journal.com.


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