It’s a Baby Boomer’s worst nightmare: the deluge of information, both digital and analog, masks a single piece of Medicare-related mail that is responsible for costing you thousands upon thousands of dollars in unwanted costs. Forms sent by sanctioned Medicare Advantage plan providers—or if you’re lucky, a few separately-mailed items—throw a massive monkey wrench in your financial plans.
It’s an all too common scenario, unfortunately. Medicare is a complicated system, and the urgent months leading up to a person’s 65th birthday make the service even more difficult.
Here is one of many potential Medicare Advantage-related pitfalls to be cautious of as you approach the age of 65: “seamless conversion.”
The importance of opting out
The Medicare Manual allows Medicare Advantage plan sponsors to “seamlessly” auto-enroll people turning 65 in their programs, as long as the person was already enrolled in coverage through the same insurance provider—to “seamlessly convert”. The sponsor is required only to engage in “outreach activity ...including a written notice provided to each individual on how to opt-out, or decline, the seamless conversion enrollment.”
Those turning 65 receive many mailings from many Medicare Advantage plan sponsors in the months before their birthday. It’s possible that these people discard much of this information, especially if they’ve decided on the Medicare plan they want. If they miss the chance to opt out, they will be enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan automatically. They may not know this has happened until their doctor or hospital bills are rejected because they went out of the plan’s network. All because of some missed mail.
Approaching 65? On an individual plan? Pay attention to the mail. You don’t want to miss any opt-out communications from Medicare Advantage plan sponsors. It’s all too easy to miss a piece of mail, and even more so as we age.
Though navigating the world of Medicare can be very confusing, i65 and 65 Incorporated are here to help. For more information about seamless conversion and other topics, head to the 65 Incorporated blog page, where Medicare expert Diane J. Omdahl, RN, MS shares her wisdom on the twists and turns of the service.