Medicare Advantage “side doors”

I call them “side doors,” but that also implies something against the rules. NO CHANCE that I would advocate anything that is against regulations. There are enough examples of this (click here for this New Republic article about Medicare Advantage commercials).

Nevertheless, you can still change your Medicare Advantage plan, if and only if you are an existing Medicare Advantage policyowner.

Now: you can change TO a 5-star Medicare Advantage plan, if one is available in your location. You can do this now (started December 8th).

January 1 – March 31: You can switch from your Medicare Advantage plan to a different Medicare Advantage plan. There are many reasons you would do so. You find that you will require extensive healthcare services. You find out that a doctor or clinic is not in your network. You find that prescriptions are more efficiently covered. You need extra dental / vision, and the supplemental benefits are superior within a different plan. This is a partial list, you need to check.

Apply for Extra Help. If you qualify for the federal Extra Help program, then you have the once-per-quarter ability to change Medicare Advantage plans (or you can cancel your Medicare Advantage, something that is not suggested unless you have a VERY exceptional situation, like you have other insurance such as Medigap, already lined up). Note that if you qualify for Extra Help, then all late enrollment penalties are waived.

Young People Have Done Well

Ages 26 – 40 Have Taken Advantage Of Individual Health Insurance APTCs

December 15th (tomorrow) is the deadline, for those that want health insurance to be effective on January 1st. There are reasons to do this.

You want to get your checkup EARLY in 2022. Reason: if something is wrong, then you have the right to change plans through January 15th. This leaves very little time, I realize.

For young people and young families, the absolute dollar amount is low. In some cases it is $0. If this is the case, the nuances DO NOT MATTER. If you saw a PowerBall ticket lying on the floor, you pick it up, right? Never ever give away free options. Health insurance at $xxx, when $xxx can be zero?

Even if this is entirely obvious to you, I promise it is not obvious to everyone. Tell someone else.

Financial Planning Basics: You Don’t Get More Later

Too frequently, people think they can simply “apply later, when we are considering other benchmark dates (retirement, Medicare, whatever).



It completely presumes that you are fully control of everything, you are not. Does anyone remember COVID-19?

Your medical records have now changed.

SELLERS can change or eliminate options without warning. This happens, we are intentionally identifying plans/policies that are GREATLY in the buyer’s favor. We are never surprised when the SELLER then ELIMINATES the plan or CHANGES the terms (payouts, follow the cash flow, duh).

Father Time continues to move forward.

You are NOT the one that determines whether or not you would be accepted. Some other party is, they don’t necessarily have to inform you why.

Medicare and ACA removes some, not all, of these problems.

No pre-existing clause

Enrollment windows which prevent underwriting

Life-changing event exceptions

There is a reason that I start with health insurance.

People have no idea of the financial downside if costs run amuck.

The protections that prevent the underwriting questions are invaluable to those with pre-existing conditions.

Not all financial contracts have these protections, which is another way of saying “buy when you can, not when you must.” Buying when you must isn’t an option, the sellers are not stupid.

Delivery Delayed #%^#%#%^

Stuff I cannot control (apparently production delays, I have pressed Send).
The best workaround is to pre-order, send a copy of the receipt. The simply reason is that if it is the complete Medicare information set that you seek, then you get access to the paid Substack AND, where there is a 9-video set on Medicare. It is NOT available in public, it is only available to paid subscribers.

The first-year subscription is free, so you can have the full information, prior to the release of the book.

Pre-Order on

Official website for the book is here (click).