Medicare Open Enrollment Period
Looking to make the jump from Original Medicare policy 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 personal needs, and it is necessary 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. Open Enrollment for Medicare Advantage and Medicare Prescription Drug Plans spans from October 15th to December 7th each year.
The Medicare Annual Open Enrollment Season
During Open Enrollment, eligible consumers are able to make changes to their Medicare Part C Advantage Plan or Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans. You are also able to join a Medicare Advantage plan with our without prescription drug coverage. Beneficiaries can add, drop, or change their prescription drug plans during the Open Enrollment period. 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-February 14th each year. If you’re in a Medicare Advantage Plan, you can leave your plan and switch to Original Medicare during this time. If you switch to Original Medicare during this period, you’ll have until February 14 to also join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan to add drug coverage. Your coverage will begin the first day of the month after the plan gets your enrollment form. You cannot, however, switch from Original Medicare Advantage Plan or switch from one Medicare Advantage Plan to another. This last rule also applies Medicare Prescription Drug Plans.
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.