Are you looking to cancel your Medicare benefits? There are certainly reasons to end coverage, such as having a better insurance plan through work or a union, but canceling Medicare benefit plans can have some serious repercussions. Because of this, it is very important to understand how canceling now will affect you in both the short and long term.
Canceling your Medicare plans now can affect your ability to reacquire Medicare in the future, both in what is available to you and the costs associated with it. Even if you had coverage previously, re-enrolling at a later date will likely result in late fees and higher premiums. It can even lead to health audits that might restrict your options. It is also important to remember that not having any medical insurance could result in fines when it comes time to file taxes.
Canceling Medicare Part B
Because canceling Medicare Part B is a serious decision with consequences, it is not possible to end your coverage with a quick phone call or a click online. In order to voluntarily drop your Medicare Part B medical insurance, you must have a personal interview with a Social Security representative. This can be done either over the phone or in person. The interview is designed to ensure that you fully understand what canceling means in terms of your ability to reacquire Medicare in the future.
If you still desire to cancel, this representative will help you fill out the necessary form, Form CMS 1763. The form is not available online. To schedule your interview, call 1-800-772-1213 (TTY: 1-800-325-0778), or contact your nearest Social Security office.
Canceling Medicare Part C
To cancel your Medicare Part C (also known as Medicare Advantage) without enrolling in a new plan, you will need to contact your provider directly. You may be able to do so online, or you might need to call during business hours. The provider might require you to fill out and sign a form to return.
Canceling Medicare Part D
To drop your Medicare Part D drug plan, you will have to do so during the Open Enrollment period of October 15th through December 7th. An exception to this time frame is if you are getting creditable prescription drug coverage from an employer/union or other group health plan, at which point you can cancel at the time of receiving your new coverage. To disenroll, you can either:
- Call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227).
- Mail or fax a signed written notice to the plan telling them you want to disenroll.
- Submit a request to the plan online, or call your plan provider and request a disenrollment notice (which you will have to complete and return).
Just remember that if you go 63 days or more in a row without a creditable prescription drug coverage, if you desire to rejoin Medicare Plan D in the future you will have to wait for Open Enrollment and may have to pay financial penalties. (link) Your plan is required to provide you annually with a notice of creditable coverage. If your plan was creditable before but loses its status, you might qualify for a special enrollment period should you decide to re-enroll in Medicare Part D.