Each year from January 1 through February 14, Medicare Advantage enrollees have the opportunity to leave their plan and return to Original Medicare.* This 45 day period is called the Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period, or MADP.
If you decide to take advantage of the Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period, you'll also have the opportunity to sign up for a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan. You'll have until February 14 to enroll in the stand-alone Part D plan.
It's important to note what the Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period is NOT. It is not a period meant for switching between Medicare Advantage plans or switching from Original Medicare to Medicare Advantage. As the name implies, this is a period for people who want to disenroll from their current Medicare Advantage plan.
If, however, you decide to disenroll from your Medicare Advantage plan and switch back to Original Medicare, you should consider adding a Medicare Supplement plan. Unfortunately, unless you qualify for a Special Election Period, the insurance carrier will likely require underwriting, but if you're in good health, this often isn't a problem.
*The Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period will be replaced by a new Open Enrollment Period beginning in January 2019. The new Open Enrollment Period will run from January 1 through March 31.