Medicare-related enrollment dates and guidelines

September & October—Review and Compare Medicare Advantage Plans

  • Review any notices from your plan about changes for next year. To learn more about your options download Medicare and You 2018

Compare: In October, use Medicare’s tools to find a plan that meets your needs.

  • This is the one time of year when ALL people with Medicare can make changes to their health and prescription drug plans for the next year.

Between: October 15- December 7

  • Change from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage Plan.
  • Change from a Medicare Advantage Plan back to Original Medicare.
  • Switch from one Medicare Advantage Plan to another Medicare Advantage Plan.
  • Switch from a Medicare Advantage Plan that doesn’t offer drug coverage to a Medicare Advantage Plan that offers drug coverage.
  • Switch from a Medicare Advantage Plan that offers drug coverage to a Medicare Advantage Plan that doesn’t offer drug coverage.
  • Join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan.
  • Switch from one Medicare Prescription Drug Plan to another Medicare Prescription Drug Plan.
  • Drop your Medicare prescription drug coverage completely.

January 1—Coverage Begins

  • Your new coverage begins if you switched to a new plan. If you stay with the same plan, any changes to coverage, benefits, or costs for the new year will begin on January 1.

Between January 1–February 14

  • If you’re in a Medicare Advantage Plan (like an HMO or PPO), you can leave your plan and switch to Original Medicare. If you switch to Original Medicare during this period, you will have until February 14 to also join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan to add drug coverage. Your coverage will begin the first day of the month after the plan gets your enrollment form.

When to buy a Medicare Supplement policy

  • The best time to buy a Medigap policy is during your Medigap Open Enrollment Period, which is the six-month period that begins on the first day of the month in which you turn 65 or older and have enrolled in Part B. (Some state have additional Open Enrollment Periods.) After this enrollment period, you may not be able to buy a Medigap policy. If you are able to buy one, it may cost more.
  • If you delay in Part B because you have group health coverage based on you (or your spouse's) current employment, you Medigap Open Enrollment Period won't start until you sign up for Part B.

If need have questions about enrollment please give us a call. We're here to help.


This information comes from and Medicare and You 2018.

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