Medicare Open Enrollment Period
Looking to make the jump from Medicare Parts A and B to a Medicare Advantage Plan? Want to switch from one Medicare Advantage Plan to another, or join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan? Sometimes, a plan that worked well in the past no longer fits your needs and you need to make a change.
If your initial enrollment period has passed, you are still able to make changes to your Medicare plan during the Annual Open Enrollment Period (OEP), which runs from October 15 to December 7 each year.
The Medicare Annual Open Enrollment Season
During Open Enrollment, eligible consumers are able to make changes to their Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage) Plan or Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan. You are also able to join a Medicare Advantage Plan with or without prescription drug coverage. Beneficiaries can add, drop, or change their prescription drug plans during the OEP. If you are not satisfied with your prescription drug coverage or Medicare Advantage plan, you can drop it completely during this period without any stipulations or restrictions.
The Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period
The Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period runs from January 1 through February 14 each year. If you’re in a Medicare Advantage Plan, you can leave your plan and switch to Medicare Parts A and B during this time. If you switch Original Medicare (Parts A and B) during this period, you have until February 14 to also join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan to add prescription drug coverage. Your coverage begins on the first day of the month after the plan receives your enrollment form. However, you cannot switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage (MA) Plan or switch from one MA plan to another. You may also not switch from one Part D plan to another.
Special Enrollment Periods
There are Special Enrollment Periods for people with extenuating circumstances, when changes can be made to Medicare Advantage and Medicare Prescription Drug Plans outside of the aforementioned enrollment periods. There are different rules about when you can make these changes and what changes can be made.