What if you make the wrong decision?  Let’s say you selected a plan, but then you talk to a friend or read an article and think you might have made a bad decision.  Maybe you chose the wrong plan type or carrier. Maybe you feel like your decision wasn’t fully informed.

Perhaps your agent was very responsive and friendly when you purchased the plan, but since then it’s “crickets”.  Your calls are not returned and you feel abandoned. What should you do?

These scenarios are not uncommon, so if you relate, then don’t worry.  You have options moving forward.

Medicare Advantage Buyer’s Remorse

The good news is that if you purchased a Medicare Advantage plan and feel like you should have purchased a Medigap plan, then you still can switch back to Original Medicare and enroll in a Medigap plan.  You might say, “I could get declined if I apply for a Medigap plan since my Initial Enrollment Period is over.”

Your Trial Right Period

Yes, that would be true if you have had your Medicare Advantage plan for more than 12 months.  However, you have a Trial Right period for 12 months after your first time enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan. This allows you to switch back to Original Medicare and purchase a Medigap plan (and Part D plan) on a guaranteed issue basis. No medical underwriting is required. 

If you want to switch to a different Medicare Advantage plan, then you’ll have to wait until the Annual Election Period from October 15 to December 7 each year.  The effective date of the new plan would be January 1. 

If you felt like you were misled or misinformed by your agent, then you can still change plans through a disenrollment process.  We can explain how this works when you call us.

Medigap Buyer’s Remorse

If you feel like you enrolled in the wrong Medigap plan or wrong carrier, then you can easily make a change (if you’re in good health).  You can change anytime of year – even a month or two after you enrolled.  

Sometimes, people find out they enrolled in the lowest-cost plan thinking they can switch carriers at any time with guaranteed acceptance.  When they learn this isn’t the case, they want to switch to a top-rated company.

There are other reasons why people might want to switch plans or carriers.  Occasionally, people are rushed into making a decision due to a quick layoff or retirement.  They realize they didn’t take the time to make an educated choice.

If you are still within your initial enrollment period, then you can change plans or carriers with no medical underwriting.

Your Agent Goes AWOL- It Happens Quite Often

Sometimes, we hear from people who regret their decision to work with a particular agent or agency.  They can’t get their agent to return calls or they hear from friends about how their agents stay in touch and offer to do free annual reviews.  

Due to the low barrier of entry, there are thousands of new Medicare agents who are trying out this job.  There are many more agents that work at call centers and their sole focus is “closing the sale”. They really don’t care what happens after that point.

Some agents sell Medicare plans, but it’s not their main focus.  They have limited knowledge about the complexities of Medicare and they’re not equipped to deal with your questions about benefits, claims, billing, etc.   You might feel like they aren’t really the best agent to have on an ongoing basis.

As an example, I’ve talked to agents who have no idea how HSA plans work with Medicare.  Understanding these rules can result in significant savings and avoiding common penalties.

You Have Options

If your agent hasn’t returned your call, then you have options.  Give your current agent the benefit of the doubt, but if they continually refuse to respond in a timely manner, fail to keep in touch or don’t have answers to your questions, then it might be time to move on.

It’s important to work with an agent who keeps you informed of changes that could affect you.  You could miss opportunities to make important changes or pay too much for your Medicare coverage.  

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