The Medicare Annual Enrollment Period provides certain periods of time when you can change Medicare plans and runs from October 15 to December 7 each year.
Anyone in Medicare can make coverage changes during this period, which then take effect the following year.
Does your new Medicare plan not fit your needs?
Or if during the year you are caught off guard by changes to your plan benefits? Maybe your refill is denied at the pharmacy counter because your medication is not on your plan's list of covered (formulary) drugs. Or maybe you learn that your doctor is not in your plan's network.
If any of these things happen, you may be able to change Medicare plans before the next Annual Enrollment Period. But you will have to meet certain qualifications.
When you can change Medicare plans after Annual Enrollment?
There are two opportunities outside the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period when you may be able to make changes to your Medicare coverage:
1) the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period and
2) the Special Enrollment Period for qualifying life events
The Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period
The Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period runs from January 1 to March 31 each year. You must be currently enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan to be eligible to make changes during this period. Changes you can make include:
- Switch to another Medicare Advantage plan
- Drop a Medicare Advantage plan and return to the Original Medicare
- Join a Part D prescription drug plan if you qualify
- Get more information in our article, What can I do during the Medicare Advantage Enrollment Period.
The Medicare Special Enrollment Period for Qualifying Life Events
You can also change Medicare plans during a 2-month Medicare Special Enrollment Period if you have a qualifying life event. During this Special Enrollment Period, you can usually join, switch, or leave a Medicare Advantage plan or a Part D prescription drug plan.
You may be granted a Special Enrollment Period in selected situations, such as:
● You leave the service area of your current Medicare plan.
● You move within the service area of your current plan and have new plan choices.
● You move in or out of an institution.
● Your Medicare plan stops serving your service area or you lose your contract with Medicare.
● You lose creditable drug coverage, through no fault of your own.
● You lose retiree, union, or COBRA coverage.
It is possible to change your Medicare plan during the above periods, so be sure to keep them in mind.
Are you thinking about changing plans or your current plan doesn't have the coverage you need?
Count on a team prepared to help you!
Get in touch!
Phone: (626) 912-1988
EPIA inc. is a private Insurance Agency with no ties with legal entities. The information contained in this article is based on information provided by the Medicare Official Website.