Medicare is made up of four different parts:
- Part A – Part A provides 80% of the services covered by Medicare, including inpatient hospital care, skilled nursing facility care, hospice care, and limited home health care and preventative services.
- Part B – Part B is your medical insurance under Original Medicare, which provides coverage for treatments used to address or diagnose your condition, as well as preventative services that help you prevent or detect early illnesses.
- Part C – Part C is actually a program designed to replace Original Medicare, and plans are sold by third-party insurance companies, which bundle together the coverages found under Parts A, B, and D.
- Part D – Part D is a Medicare approved, stand alone prescription plan that provides optional coverage for some—if not all—of your prescription drug expenses.
- Supplement Plans – Supplement (also referred to as Medigap) plans pick up some of the coverages not found under Original Medicare, including for copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles.
In the past, we’ve covered in detail when you can enroll in Medicare, a time known as a special enrollment period. But when can you unenroll from Medicare.
Below, we’ll take a look at each of Medicare’s parts and discern whether or not you’re eligible to disenroll.
Unenrolling From Medicare Part B
Can you voluntarily terminate your Medicare Part B coverage at any time? The short answer is “yes.”
However, this is a decision you shouldn’t take lightly, so you’ll need to attend a personal interview with a Social Security representative, who can help you complete the CMS 1763. You can attend this part in-person at your local SSA office, or over the phone.
Why is this part necessary? Mostly, Medicare wants to ensure you understand the consequences of dropping Part B coverage, such as potentially paying a late penalty if you want to re-enroll at a later date.
The good news is that if you’re cancelling your Part B coverage because you want to enroll in your employer’s health plan, you won’t incur a late fee as long as you enroll in medicare within eight months of retirement or otherwise ceasing employment.
Unenrolling From Medicare Part C
Medicare Part C, otherwise known as an Advantage plan, combines Part A, B, and D into a single policy that’s issued by third-party HMO or PPO insurance companies.
It’s only during an open enrollment period, between October 15 and December 7 each year, that you can drop your Medicare Part C plan. According to the Medicare website, you can also “switch to a different Medicare Advantage Plan or switch to Original Medicare (and join a separate Medicare drug plan) once during this time.”
Unenrolling From Medicare Part D
You can unenroll from Medicare Part D during the standard Open Enrollment Period, or during one of the following special circumstances:
- You change where you live
- You moved to a new address that’s outside your plan’s service area.
- You moved to an address that’s still in your plan’s service area, but you have new plan options in your new location.
- You moved back to the U.S after living outside the country.
- You just “moved into, currently live in, or just moved out of an institution (like a skilled nursing facility or long-term care hospital).”
- You’re released from jail.
- You lose your current coverage.
- You’re no longer eligible for Medicaid.
- You have a chance to get other coverage.
- You have a chance to enroll in other coverage offered by your employer or union.
- Your plan changes its contract with Medicare.
- Medicare terminates your plan’s contract.
- Your Medicare Advantage Plan, Medicare Prescription Drug Plan, or Medicare Cost Plan’s contract with Medicare isn’t renewed.
There are several other special circumstances, which you can read about on the Medicare.gov website.
Keep in mind that if you go 63 days or more in a row without other creditable prescription drug coverage, you’ll have to wait for another enrollment period to sign up for coverage, or otherwise pay a late enrollment penalty.
To disenroll from a drug plan you can call call Medicare at 800-633-4227, mail or fax a signed written notice, submit an online request if available, call your plan directly and request that they send you a disenrollment notice, which you’ll have to complete, sign, and return the notice to the plan.
Unenrolling From Your Medicare Supplement (Medigap) Plan
Compared to the other options in this list, you can cancel your Medicare Supplement insurance plan anytime simply by calling your insurance company.
However, it’s important to note that once you cancel, you might not be able to get another Medicare Supplement plan without undergoing underwriting, where your medical history and pre-existing conditions can determine your eligibility and your rates, as well as waiting periods before your benefits kick in.
Do You Need More Information About Dis-Enrolling From Medicare?
The team at IHS Insurance Group has decades of combined experience helping clients like you choose the best Medicare options for your needs – including those times when you need to dis-enroll or otherwise change your coverages.
Need a FREE Quote or have questions regarding Medicare Coverage? We have three convenient ways to reach us:
- If you prefer to talk to a licensed agent directly, please call (866) 480 5063.
- If you prefer to fill out a quick form and have an agent get back with you at your convenience, use the GET A FREE QUOTE.
- Lastly, for those that want an immediate quote, please click HERE.
Also, check out our Medicare FAQ’s here.