CMS Announces a Special Election Period (SEP) to Enroll in 5-star Medicare Advantage Plans in Plan Year 2012

Written by ryankimble

December 9, 2010

Last month, Michael Crochunis (Acting Director: Medicare Enrollment & Appeals Group) released a memo to Medicare Advantage Organizations establishing a Special Election Period (SEP) for beneficiaries to enroll in 5-star Medicare Advantage Plans during the 2012 plan year.  Here is a link to the CMS memo.

Basically, this will allow Medicare beneficiaries to enroll into a 5-Star Medicare Advantage plan (during any month of the year) by using an SEP.  Below are the eligibility requirements:

Who will be eligible for this SEP?

  • Beneficiaries enrolled in MA plans with a star rating of 4.5 or less
  • Beneficiaries who are enrolled in Original Medicare and meet the eligibility requirements for Medicare Advantage

CMS is using this new SEP as an incentive for more plans to achieve the 5-Star level.  Earlier this year, a Kaiser Family Foundation report found only a small percentage of Medicare Advantage Plans had reached the 5-Start level.  Here is link to a previous blog post that includes CMS Star ratings for each company.

Hopefully, we will see additional 5-Star Medicare Advantage plans for 2012.  If so, insurance agents will be able to sell high quality Medicare Advantage plans year round. 

And that is great news!

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