After April 1, Medicare beneficiaries will be locked into their current plan through the remainder of 2009. If you are enrolled in a Medicare health plan and unhappy with it, don’t procrastinate shopping for a new plan.
According to Paul Precht from the Medicare rights Center, below are the changes that can be made before April 1.
A Senior who is enrolled in a Medicare private health plan with drug coverage (like an HMO or PPO) can switch to another Medicare plan that also offers drug coverage. They can also switch to “original Medicare” with a stand-alone drug plan.
If someone has original Medicare with a stand-alone drug plan, they can switch to a Medicare private health plan with drug coverage. However, they cannot, add or drop the Medicare drug benefit (Part D) and they cannot switch from one stand-alone prescription drug plan to another one. Most people with Medicare will not be able to change their health plan again until 2010.