MADP serves as a consumer protection, allowing beneficiaries a 45-day period, after they have enrolled in an Medicare Advantage plan during the Open Enrollment Period, to decide whether the plan is right for them. The Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period (MADP) lasts from January 1st through February 14th of each year. As the name implies, the Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period is an opportunity to disenroll from Medicare Advantage plans. During the MADP, a beneficiary can switch from a Medicare Advantage plan to traditional Medicare. It also provides an opportunity to enroll in a Part D drug plan for those beneficiaries who have not already done so.

When disenrolling from a Medicare Advantage plan during the MADP, the effective date of disenrollment is the first day of the month following the date the disenrollment request is received. Thus, disenrollment requests received by Medicare Advantage organizations in January are effective February 1; those received February 1 through February 14 are effective March 1.

During the MADP, an individual using the MADP to disenroll from an MA plan is eligible for a special enrollment period (SEP) to enroll in a stand-alone Part D prescription drug plan, regardless of whether the MA plan from which the individual disenrolled included the Part D drug benefit. According to the Center for Medicare Advocacy, beneficiaries are advised to enroll in a Prescription Drug Plan as close to the time of disenrollment from the MA plan as possible in order to avoid having a gap in drug coverage. For example, a beneficiary who disenrolls from an MA plan on January 31 and enrolls in a prescription drug plan (PDP) on February 1 would return to traditional Medicare on February 1, but would not have drug coverage until March 1.

During this period, you can switch to Original Medicare and a Prescription Drug Plan (PDP) or Original Medicare if you have a Medicare Advantage plan with prescription drug coverage (MA-PD). However, you cannot switch Medicare part A plans, switch to a different PDP if you have a Medicare Advantage plan without prescription drug coverage and a PDP, or disenroll in your Medical Savings Account (MSA) during MADP.

There are three ways to disenroll from a Medicare Advantage plan during this time:

  1. Call the plan. If you choose this option, be sure to note the date, time, and person you spoke with to disenroll.
  2. Call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) to disenroll.
  3. Enroll in a Prescription Drug Plan (PDP), which automatically will disenroll you from the Medicare Advantage plan.

If you choose to disenroll from an MA plan and do not choose a Part D plan, or have alternative creditable coverage, you will be subject to a late enrollment penalty should you choose drug coverage in the future. If you are disenrolling from a Medicare Advantage plan and are looking for a Medicare Part D plan, it is a good idea to consult your local iMedicare pharmacy to help you compare Medicare Part D plans.