When Your Medicare Advantage Plan Is Discontinued

You'll get coverage under traditional Medicare, but it's better to consider all your options to find the best deal.

What happens if the insurance company that sold my Medicare Advantage plan to me discontinues that plan at the end of this year? Will I be able to qualify for another policy, or does it depend on my health?

You should have received a notice from your insurer in the past month if yours is one of about 100 Medicare Advantage plans that will be discontinued in 2009. When this happens, you'll be switched automatically to traditional Medicare, which will provide you with health-care coverage. That means you could get stuck with big out-of-pocket expenses for Medicare deductibles, co-payments and bills that aren't covered by the government program (such as for prescription drugs).

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Kimberly Lankford
Contributing Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance

As the "Ask Kim" columnist for Kiplinger's Personal Finance, Lankford receives hundreds of personal finance questions from readers every month. She is the author of Rescue Your Financial Life (McGraw-Hill, 2003), The Insurance Maze: How You Can Save Money on Insurance -- and Still Get the Coverage You Need (Kaplan, 2006), Kiplinger's Ask Kim for Money Smart Solutions (Kaplan, 2007) and The Kiplinger/BBB Personal Finance Guide for Military Families. She is frequently featured as a financial expert on television and radio, including NBC's Today Show, CNN, CNBC and National Public Radio.