Generally, no. It’s against the law for someone who knows you have Medicare to sell you a Marketplace plan.
But there are a few situations where you can choose a Marketplace private health plan instead of Medicare:
If you’re paying a premium for Part A (Hospital Insurance). In this case you can drop Part A and Part B (Medical Insurance) and get a Marketplace plan instead.
If you’re eligible for Medicare but haven’t signed up. This could be because:
- You’d have to pay a premium for Part A.
- You have a medical condition that qualifies you for Medicare, like End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD), but haven’t signed up for Medicare coverage.
- You’re not collecting Social Security retirement or disability benefits before you’re eligible for Medicare.
If you’re getting Social Security retirement or disability benefits before you’re eligible for Medicare, you’ll automatically get Medicare when eligible.
Before choosing a Marketplace plan over Medicare, there are 2 important points to consider:
- If you want to sign up for Medicare after you're first eligible, you may have to wait until the General Enrollment Period (January 1-March 31 each year) to sign up. This means you have have months without medical coverage.
- In most cases, you'll also have to pay monthly late enrollment penalties. The penalty is added to your monthly premiums, and it goes up the longer you wait.