What Is The Open Enrollment Period for Medicare Advantage?
The Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period is an extra time each year when you can make one (yes, just one) change to your existing Medicare Advantage plan. These changes include:
- Moving to a different Medicare Advantage plan.
- Dropping your Medicare Advantage plan and staying with Original Medicare. If you do this and need drug coverage, you have until March 31 to add a Medicare Part D (prescription drug) plan.
Remember, you need to be enrolled in Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) before you’re eligible to sign up for any Medicare Advantage or prescription drug plan.
If you do not yet have Original Medicare, check out your Medicare Enrollment options so you know when and how to sign up. If you’re turning 65 soon, it’s smart to start researching your coverage options now.
Why Enroll In A Medicare Advantage Plan?
If you are new to Medicare, you might be wondering what a Medicare Advantage plan is and how you can sign up. These plans are a great option if you need coverage beyond what Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) offers.
For example, you might want dental, vision, and hearing insurance. Or maybe you have regular medications and need prescription drug coverage, which you can’t receive through Original Medicare. Knowing how the two options compare helps you benefit the most from your coverage.
What Is The Difference Between The Open Enrollment Period And The Medicare Annual Enrollment Period?
This Medicare Annual Enrollment period is from October 15 through December 7 each year, and it allows anyone who has Medicare to make changes to their coverage. The Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period (January 1 to March 31) is for those who currently have a Medicare Advantage plan and want to make a change to it.
Other Medicare Advantage Enrollment Periods
After you sign up for Original Medicare, there are a few additional windows of time where you can add, change, or drop a Medicare Advantage or prescription drug plan.
If you are moving or your plan’s service area changes, a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) accounts for these types of exceptions (and others). Our Medicare Advantage enrollment page offers more details about all sign-up periods, including the SEP.
Medicare can seem complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. Check out our Medicare Information section for details on enrollment, costs, options, and coverage comparisons.