|In most cases, you can only disenroll or cancel your Medicare Part D plan or Medicare Advantage plan during the Annual Enrollment Period or Open Enrollment Period which runs from October 15 through December 7 of each year.|
The easiest way to dis-enroll or cancel your Medicare Part D plan or Medicare Advantage plan is to call Medicare at !-800-633-4227 and speak with a Medicare representative. You will need to provide Medicare with your Medicare Claim Number found on your red, white, and blue Medicare ID card.
You can also dis-enroll by contacting your Medicare plan provider. However, if you wish to cancel your Medicare plan through your plan provider, your request to cancel your Medicare plan should be in writing. You can call your plan's Member Services telephone number on the back of your Medicare Part D or Medicare Advantage plan membership ID card and the plan representative will be able to tell you what you should write in your letter and where the letter should be mailed. We would suggest sending a cancellation letter registered with a delivery confirmation.
The cancellation of your Medicare plan coverage would be effective starting on January 1st.
As an alternative to dropping your Medicare Part D prescription drug plan coverage . . ., you may wish to consider just enrolling in the lowest costing Medicare Part D plan that is available in your area and then just view your monthly premium as insurance that you have just in case your prescription drug needs or health needs change (just protection from the year's uncertainties - like car or house insurance).
Remember, if you are without creditable prescription drug coverage and then later decide to re-join a Medicare Part D plan, you may have accrued a permanent Premium Penalty that will increase the cost of your monthly premiums. Click here to see the current premium penalty.
Although the Medicare Part D prescription drug program is voluntary, if you drop your prescription drug plan coverage and do not have any other creditable prescription drug coverage (like VA coverage), you will be subject to a late-enrollment premium penalty for each month that you are without coverage. The penalty is calculated as an increase of 1% of the national base Medicare Part D premium for each month you are without coverage.
So a 12 month lapse in coverage equates to 12% of the national base Monthly Part D premium ($32.34 in 2010) added to your monthly premiums in 2011. In other words, your monthly premium will increase around $3.88 per month in 2010. The base Medicare Part D premium can change every year, but the penalty will be applied for as long as you are enrolled in a Medicare Part D plans.
The average monthly premium used to calculate the penalty will probably increase a little each year, so your penalty will also continue to increase over the life of your Medicare Part D plans.
There has been some discussion of eliminating the Medicare Part D premium penalty, but to date, the penalty remains in action.