Good news: You enrolled in a Medicare Plan.
The not-so-good news? You want to change the plan you chose.
Not to worry. Although you cannot switch Medicare plans anytime you would like, there are certain opportunities throughout the year when you can update your Medicare selections.
Here’s a list of enrollment periods you’ll want to keep in mind
Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) | October 15 – December 7
Every year, from October 15th to December 7th, you can review your Medicare or Medicare Advantage Plan and, if necessary, change it to a different plan that may suit your healthcare needs and circumstances better.
Medicare Open Enrollment period (OEP) | January 1 – March 31
If you have a Medicare Advantage Plan, each year between January 1st to March 31st you can:
- Switch to a different Medicare Advantage plan
- Drop your Medicare Advantage Plan and return to Original Medicare (Part A and B)
- Sign up for a stand-alone Medicare Part D Prescription Drug plan (if you are returning to Original Medicare)
If you happened to miss the AEP or want to change the plan you enrolled in during AEP, you can use this time to make the change.
Note: Any changes made during OEP will take effect the 1st day of the following month.
Special Enrollment Period (SEP)
There are also Special Enrollment Periods (SEP) offering opportunities for you to make changes to your Medicare plan, particularly if you experience special circumstances or a major life event. Just don’t wait too long to make your change because you likely have a limited amount of time after the event occurs to make a change. Otherwise, you may have to wait until the next Annual Enrollment or Open Enrollment Period.
What types of events can trigger a special enrollment period for you? A few common examples are listed below. For more information or a complete list of life events that qualify for a special enrollment period, go to medicare.gov.
Life events that trigger a Special Enrollment Period
- Move or change your residence
- Lose your prescription drug coverage (involuntarily)
- Experience exceptional circumstances, such as:
- Gain or lose Medicaid eligibility or Part D low-income subsidy
- Change employer/union group sponsored MA coverage
- Enroll in a Medicare plan based on incorrect information
- Drop a Medigap policy when you enroll for the first time in an MA plan, and are still in a “trial period”
Need more information about when you can make changes to your Medicare plan? Contact a member of our Guided Medicare team.