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The Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period (MADP) lasts from January 1st through February 14th of each year.  During the MADP, a beneficiary can switch from an MA plan to traditional Medicare. The new MADP also provides an opportunity to enroll in a Part D drug plan for those who have not already done so.

When disenrolling from an MA 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 MA 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. The old OEP did not allow a beneficiary to add Part D coverage if he or she did not previously have such coverage at the beginning of the calendar year.

Beneficiaries are advised to enroll in a PDP 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.

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