Medicare Enrollment Periods: When can you change your Medicare Plans?

Your personal circumstance will determine when you can enroll in and/or make changes to your Medicare plans. The table below shows the different enrollment periods that may apply to you.  Our team is here to help you understand all your options. 

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Initial Enrollment Period (IEP):  Medicare offers those who are turning 65 a 7-month period of time to enroll called the Initial Enrollment Period. Initial Enrollment begins three months prior to your 65th birthday and ends three months after you turn 65.  After you enroll in Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) and during your IEP, you can purchase a Medicare Supplement plan, a Medicare Advantage (Part C) plan or a Medicare prescription drug (Part D) plan.

General Enrollment Period (GEP): For those who miss the Initial Enrollment Period for Part B, there is a General Enrollment Period between January 1st through March 31st each year. Keep in mind, enrollment begins on January 1st for coverage that begins on July 1st.

Every Year:
     October 15 - December 7

Annual Enrollment Period (AEP): This is sometimes called Open Enrollment.  The Medicare Annual Enrollment Period is October 15 to December 7 every year. During AEP you can join, switch or drop a plan. For example, you can: 

* Enroll in a Medicare Advantage (Part C) or Medicare prescription drug

  (Part D) plan.

* Switch to a different Medicare Advantage or Medicare prescription drug plan.

* Drop a Medicare Advantage plan and go back to Original Medicare (Parts A and B). Then you could also apply for a Medicare Supplement plan.

* Replace a Medicare Advantage plan with a standalone Medicare

   prescription drug plan.

If you don't make any changes during AEP, your current plan will automatically renew the next year.

Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period (MAOEP): This allows anyone enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan the opportunity to change plans. The annual MA OEP runs from January 1 to March 31. There is also an individualized Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period that is limited to new Medicare beneficiaries with both Medicare Part A and B who enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan during their initial coverage election period. 

Special Enrollment Periods (SEP): The Special Enrollment Period lets you enroll in Original Medicare outside of your IEP due to certain life changing events. For example, you might wait to enroll if you're still working. Timing depends on when the life changing event happens.  Examples include:

  • Loss of employment
  • Retirement
  • Move and your current plan will not cover you
Want to enroll in a Medicare Supplement Plan? Medicare Supplement Plans: As long as you have Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B, you can enroll in a Medicare Supplement Plan.  Additionally, you can change your plan any time that you want!