The Medicare Advantage (MA) plan offers several designed "advantages" for enrollees over individuals with traditional Medicare. Notably, beneficiaries enjoy more flexibility to make changes to their coverage.
The 21st Century Cures Act, signed by President Obama, features a bevy of changes that favor MA over traditional Medicare:
- Effective 2019, continuous open enrollment and dis-enrollment period during the first three months of the calendar year.
- During this period, MA beneficiaries can make a one-time change to another MA plan and/or elect coverage under Part D.
- Effective 2021, people with End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) will be eligible to enroll in MA plans.
- Section 17001 of the Cures Act delays the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' (CMS) authority to terminate consistently poor performing plans (solely on the basis that plans have failed to achieve minimum quality ratings).
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