Medicare-related enrollment dates and guidelines
September & October—Review and Compare Medicare Advantage Plans
- Review any notices from your plan about changes for next year. To learn more about your options download Medicare and You 2021
Compare: In October, use Medicare’s tools to find a plan that meets your needs.
- This is the one time of year when ALL people with Medicare can make changes to their health and prescription drug plans for the next year.
Between: October 15- December 7
- Change from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage Plan.
- Change from a Medicare Advantage Plan back to Original Medicare.
- Switch from one Medicare Advantage Plan to another Medicare Advantage Plan.
- Switch from a Medicare Advantage Plan that doesn’t offer drug coverage to a Medicare Advantage Plan that offers drug coverage.
- Switch from a Medicare Advantage Plan that offers drug coverage to a Medicare Advantage Plan that doesn’t offer drug coverage.
- Join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan.
- Switch from one Medicare Prescription Drug Plan to another Medicare Prescription Drug Plan.
- Drop your Medicare prescription drug coverage completely.
January 1—Coverage Begins
- Your new coverage begins if you switched to a new plan. If you stay with the same plan, any changes to coverage, benefits, or costs for the new year will begin on January 1.
Can I make changes to my coverage after December 7?
Between January 1–March 31 each year, you can make these changes during the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period:
• If you’re in a Medicare Advantage Plan (with or without drug coverage),you can switch to another Medicare Advantage Plan (with or without drug coverage).
• You can drop your Medicare Advantage Plan and return to Original Medicare. You’ll also be able to join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan.
During this period, you can’t:
• Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage Plan.
• Join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan if you’re in Original Medicare.
• Switch from one Medicare Prescription Drug Plan to another if you’re in Original Medicare.
You can only make one change during this period, and any changes you make will be effective the first of the month after the plan gets your request. If you’re returning to Original Medicare and joining a drug plan, you don’t need to contact your Medicare Advantage Plan to disenroll. The
disenrollment will happen automatically when you join the drug plan.
Note: If you enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan during your Initial Enrollment Period, you can change to another Medicare Advantage Plan (with or without drug coverage) or go back to Original Medicare (with or without a drug plan) within the first 3 months you have Medicare.
When to buy a Medicare Supplement policy
- The best time to buy a Medigap policy is during your Medigap Open Enrollment Period, which is the six-month period that begins on the first day of the month in which you turn 65 or older and have enrolled in Part B. (Some state have additional Open Enrollment Periods.) After this enrollment period, you may not be able to buy a Medigap policy. If you are able to buy one, it may cost more.
- If you delay in Part B because you have group health coverage based on you (or your spouse's) current employment, your Medigap Open Enrollment Period won't start until you sign up for Part B.
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