Disenrollment from Medicare Advantage is a fairly straightforward process, but can only be done at certain times of the year, or under special circumstances. Your options to replace your MA coverage or your prescription drug coverage (MAPD) are determined by when you disenroll.
Annual Disenrollment Period
The Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period, which runs from January 1 until February 14 each year, applies only to MA plans and MA-PD plans. You can disenroll from either by notifying the insurance company. If you have an MA-PD plan, you can enroll in a Part D prescription drug plan which automatically disenrolls you from your MA-PD. Either option returns you to coverage under Original Medicare, and you must wait until the Annual Election Period to enroll in a different plan.
Annual Election Period
Participants can always change their coverages during Medicare's Annual Election Period of October 15 through December 7. Someone with an MA or MA-PD plan can join a different plan, with or without drug coverage, by the same or another insurance company. They can also drop MA and go back to coverage under Original Medicare.
If you disenroll during the Annual Disenrollment Period, your return to Original Medicare starts the first of the month following your request. If you disenroll during the Annual Election Period, the change takes place the following January 1.
If you go back to Original Medicare coverage, you're entitled to immediately apply for Part D prescription drug coverage. Likewise, under Original Medicare, you may also apply for a Medicare Supplement, or Medigap plan at any time.