Navigating Open Enrollment Confusion

Medicare; Enrollment; Disenrollment; confusion; navigating

Medicare’s open enrollment period concluded on December 7, prompting us at RetireeFirst to reflect on the challenges faced by retirees during this time. Earlier this year, a federal law was enacted to address misleading Medicare Advantage advertisements, underscoring the importance of clear communication in this complex landscape.

According to a recent survey by the Commonwealth Fund, a staggering 51% of respondents reported encountering Medicare marketing that violated federal rules, with 74% receiving unsolicited calls from plans and brokers. The survey also revealed that 20% of respondents were confused about deceptive marketing and unsure how to file a complaint.This prevalent confusion during open enrollment is an issue of which our Advocates at RetireeFirst are keenly aware. We often find that retirees inadvertently disenroll from their group Medicare Advantage (MA) plan due to confusion, triggered by misleading mailings and TV commercials. Our team at RetireeFirst promptly intervenes when carriers report dual enrollments. We reach out to retirees to confirm their intention behind the disenrollment and, if unintentional, offer dedicated assistance in re-enrolling them into their group MA plan. This process may involve a thorough investigation into the unintentional enrollment and termination. In the past two plan years alone, RetireeFirst has successfully assisted 327 members who mistakenly enrolled in other plans.

Nanci M. DeJoie, Benefits Director Treasurer’s Department, City of Lynn, shares her experience with the support RetireeFirst provides: “Transitioning to Medicare is confusing and can be complicated for anyone. There is so much advertising on TV and through the mail with all the insurance companies competing for business. RetireeFirst was extremely helpful to us in this transition. They took the time to speak with our retirees and answer all their questions and were very patient and professional throughout the whole process. RetireeFirst has been a great ally for our team.”

The disenrollment process often induces panic among retirees, fearing the loss of vital coverage. RetireeFirst remains committed to navigating the confusion, providing essential support to retirees, and ensuring they maintain uninterrupted access to their crucial healthcare coverage.

Contact Us to Learn How RetireeFirst Can Help