Medicare Open Enrollment
Medicare Open Enrollment runs from October 15th to December 7th. These are the same dates every year.
What is Medicare Open Enrollment?
Also called AEP – Annual Enrollment Period is the time of year Medicare Beneficiaries can make changes to their Medicare Advantage Plans and Prescription Drug Plans.
Information for new plans starts to become available each year on or around October 1st, but changes can not be made until AEP actually starts on October 15th.
What Changes Can you Make During the Annual Enrollment Period?
- If you are in Original Medicare, you can join a Medicare Advantage Plan during this time.
- You can also join or switch Part D Prescription Drug Plans.
- In addition, if you have a Medicare Advantage Plan, you can switch to another plan.
- Finally, you can drop a Medicare Advantage plan to return to Original Medicare during this time.
Are Medicare Supplements Affected by Medicare Open Enrollment?
This enrollment period does not apply to Medicare Supplements (Medigap) Plans. You are free to change these plans when you please. However, if you are outside of a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) then you will need to go through medical underwriting to get into a new Medigap Plan. Medical Underwriting usually entails answering basic health questions by phone or in person with an agent.
What is the January – March Open Enrollment Period?
Sometimes also called Open Enrollment, the government created a new time period that runs from January 1st to March 31st each year where you can make limited changes. According to the Medicare and You Book,
If you’re in a Medicare Advantage Plan, you can make a change to a different Medicare Advantage Plan or switch back to Original Medicare (and join a stand-alone Medicare Prescription Drug Plan) once during this time. Any changes you make will be effective the first of the month after the plan gets your request.Medicare and You 2020
The important thing to note here, is that you can only make ONE change during this time. Lawmakers created this time period to give you the opportunity to fix any problems you may have found in your current plan or any new plan you may have adopted.