Ritter Insurance Marketing, Craig Ritter

Comments on CMS 2011 Call Letter

I’ve reviewed the 2011 Call Letter from CMS and here are some of the important highlights which agents need to be aware of.  Here is a link to the Call Letter if you’d like to view the entire document.  I’ll refer to the pages.  The Actual text of the call letter begins on page 53.

  1. Reallocation of  “Choosing” auto-assigns for Part D.  CMS was considering reassigning Medicare Beneficiaries with Low Income Subsidy (LIS) who chose a plan which was over the LIS benchmark by some amount (like $10.00 per month).  CMS decided against that, although they will consider it in future years.  (See page 60)
  2. Important Dates:
    1. April 5th – Call Letter Released and Final MA Payment Rates issued (Page 61).
    2. May 3rd – CMS asks MA and PDP sponsors to notify them of voluntary plan terminations (whether this is for an entire product or for a service area reduction.  (Page 62)
    3. June 7th – Bids for 2011 plan year are due.  Deadline for notifying CMS of voluntary plan terminations, although most plans will have notified CMS on or around May 3rd.  (Page 63)
    4. Late June/Early July – Plans file 2011 Broker Compensation. (Page 64)
    5. Late August/Early September – CMS finalizes approval for 2011 bids.  (Page 65)
    6. October 1st – Plans can begin Marketing for 2011 plans (Page 66)
    7. October 2nd – Non-Renewed members should get their notice of termination (Page 67)
    8. Mid to Late October – CMS mails Medicare and You for 2011. (Page 67)
    9. October 31st – Members should receive their Annual Notice of Change Letters (ANOC).  (Page 68)
    10. November 15th – Annual Coordinated Enrollment Period begins for 2011 (Page 69)
    11. December 31st – Annual Coordinated Enrollment Period ends for 2011 (Page 69)
    12. January 1st, 2011 – Open DISENROLLMENT Period (ODP) begins.  This allows Medicare Beneficiaries to disenroll from an MA plan (return to Original Medicare) or disenroll from a MAPD plan (return to Original Medicare and enroll in a PDP).  (Page 70)
    13. February 15th, 2011 – ODP ends and members are “locked in” (page 70)
  3. Medicare Enrollment Assistance Pilot Program – This was scrapped for 2011.  (page 72)

From the agent’s perspective, not much else of compelling interest.  Feel free to read the letter and provide any additional comments below!!

Posted by filed under All, CMS, News .

  • Teresa Blake

    so you’re telling me that if you aren’t in your ICEP or qualify for an SEP, that if you elect an MA/MAPD plan in your ICEP, that your only option after that, if the plan you elected is no longer the best choice, that a person’s only option is to go back to original medicare and a separate PDP? There isn’t any other time during the year that a medicare eligible could switch MA/MAPD plans?

    • Teresa, That is correct. After 12/31/2010 there is no enrollment options into MAPD until the next annual enrollment. A house bill was introduced to change this, however it stands little chance of passage.

  • Craig Riley

    Like the posts….appreciate the input. I will be contacting my Senators, I have a good relationship with them and point out the inance stupidity and hardship of closing the OEP.

    Who knows…Suggest we all do the same.

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  • Tim O

    So… There will not be an OEP for 2011?

    Well, I guess this might save the post office, or maybe Saturday mail… anyway. Cuz our prospects are going to get a lot of, let’s say, “Stuff” in the mail.

    Not very friendly at all.

    • Correct. No Open Enrollment to elect a MA/MAPD plan (in absence of an SEP or ICEP/IEP). The only choice for an individual enrolled in a MA plan as of Jan 1st forward is to DISENROLL and choose original Medicare. It is no longer called the Open Enrollment Period. It is now referred to by CMS as the Open Disenrollment Period (ODP). I suggested Closed Disenrollment Period (CDP), since the choices aren’t “Open”, but apparently they didn’t care for that!

  • susanlyn


    No there’s no elimination of chronic plans…. there was a question about the ongoing SEP allowed for chronic patients. But Craig replied yesterday that this did not carry over to the final resolution.

    There’s not much point in having OEP last ’till March when all they can do is disenroll. It should be clear to all right now there is NOTHING consumer friendly about any of this… except perhaps the eventual closing of the donut hole; and how that’s going to be paid for is pure rhetoric.

  • One major change is that OEP ends 2/15 instead of 3/31. So much for being consumer friendly.

    I don’t see a change in SEP for duals or the elimination of chronic. Am I missing something?


    • Rick:

      Note also that OEP has been renamed ODP and there is no Enrollment taking place.

      The change with regards to Chronic SNP’s (to eliminate year round selling for CSNP’s) was in the original House Bill and I never saw it again.

      There’s never been any mention of “locking in” duals.

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