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Find out important enrollment dates
What Is the Annual Enrollment Period?
- AEP refers to the period that runs from October 15th to December 7th every year. During this time, beneficiaries can assess their coverage and make certain adjustments. Medicare beneficiaries can make the following changes during the AEP:
- Transition from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan
- Transition from a Medicare Advantage plan to Original Medicare
- Transition from one PDP to another
- Enroll in Medicare Part D (if you neglected to enroll during your first period of eligibility)
- This period does not apply to Medigap plans and their beneficiaries.
How Do I Change Medigap Coverage?
- Medicare beneficiaries interested in Medigap coverage are generally advised to enroll during their first guaranteed issue period. This six-month window begins the month you turn 65 and enroll in Medicare Part B. For some Americans, this is the only time they will be guaranteed a policy.
- You also have a guaranteed issue right if one of the following statements describes your situation:
- Through no fault of your own, you lost a group health plan that covered Medicare cost-sharing fees.
- You enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan during your initial eligibility period and disenrolled within a year.
- Your previous Medigap or Medicare plan has gone away or your provider has committed fraud
- Additionally, many states offer guaranteed issue periods throughout the year. In California and Oregon, for example, residents have a 30-day window every year (following their birthdays) to switch from one Medigap plan to another plan with equal or lesser benefits.
- Contact your State Health Insurance Assistance Program office to learn more about policies that could affect your eligibility.
What Is the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period?
- There is an additional open enrollment period that is only available to Medicare Advantage enrollees. This period runs from January 1st to March 31st and enables Medicare Advantage enrollees to switch from Medicare Advantage to Original Medicare (and Part D, if necessary), or switch from one Medicare Advantage plan to another. You can only make one switch during this period. You cannot switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan during this period.
What If I Didn’t Sign Up for Original Medicare When I Turned 65?
- If you didn’t sign up for Medicare Part A and Part B when you were first eligible, you can do so every year from January 1st to March 31st. Coverage will go into effect on July 1st. You may have to pay a late-enrollment penalty.
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