• Medicare open enrollment is October 15 through December 7 every year.
  • Medicare open enrollment allows you to make changes to your Medicare coverage.
  • You can join a Medicare Advantage plan or Medicare Part D plan during open enrollment.
  • You can switch to a different Medicare Advantage or Medicare Part D plan during open enrollment.
  • Open enrollment is not for Medigap plans.

Your initial Medicare enrollment window happens when you turn 65 years old or become eligible for Medicare through a disability.

However, that’s not your only chance to choose your coverage. You can use the Medicare open enrollment window to make changes to your Medicare plan.

Each year during open enrollment, you can change your coverage. This includes:

  • enrolling in Medicare Advantage
  • enrolling in a Medicare Part D plan
  • switching back to original Medicare from Medicare Advantage

Open enrollment is a great time to evaluate your Medicare coverage and make sure it’s still the best choice for your needs.

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If you’re enrolled in Medicare and want to change your plan, open enrollment is your chance. Open enrollment happens each year from October 15 through December 7.

During this yearly window, you can make changes to your Medicare coverage. For example, you can decide whether your current plan is right for you and shop for new plans if you’d like.

Open enrollment runs from October 15 through December 7 each year.

The changes you make during open enrollment will begin on January 1 of the following year. So, if you used open enrollment to select a new Medicare Advantage plan on November 12, 2020, your new coverage would begin January 1, 2021.

There are a few other enrollment periods for Medicare that it’s helpful to know about.

For example, you can switch from one Medicare Advantage plan to another during the Medicare Advantage open enrollment period that runs from January 1 through March 31 each year. You can’t use this window to:

  • switch from Medicare Advantage back to Medicare parts A and B, known as original Medicare
  • switch from original Medicare to an Advantage plan

You can use the open enrollment window to enroll in a new Medicare plan. During open enrollment you can enroll in:

This means open enrollment is a great time to consider whether you’re happy with your current coverage.

If you’re looking for a little more coverage, you can go from using the original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan. If you take multiple prescriptions and the costs have been adding up, you can enroll in a Medicare Part D plan.

If your Medicare Advantage plan no longer fits your needs or budget, you can drop it and go back to original Medicare. You can also drop Medicare Part D entirely during open enrollment.

Open enrollment doesn’t apply to Medigap plans. Your Medigap enrollment period is the 6 months right after you become eligible for Medicare. During this enrollment period, you’re guaranteed to be accepted by a Medigap plan and to get a good rate.

You can buy Medigap plans outside of this window at any time. However, you won’t have the same guarantees. After your enrollment window, Medigap plans can deny your application or charge you a much higher rate.

You can make changes to your plan during open enrollment. This includes:

  • switching from one Part D plan to another
  • switching from one Medicare Advantage plan to another

If you’re not happy with your plan’s costs of coverage, switching might be a good idea. For example, you could switch to a Medicare Advantage plan with a lower monthly premium or one with more providers in its network.

It’s a good idea to use open enrollment to compare all the plans available in your area to see if any might be a better fit for your needs.

Medicare open enrollment is for people who are already enrolled in Medicare. If you’re signing up for Medicare for the first time, that’s your initial enrollment window.

The steps you need to take during your initial enrollment will depend on how you become eligible for Medicare.

For example, you’ll need to apply directly to Medicare if you’re not already receiving benefits from Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board. People who are receiving these benefits will be enrolled in Medicare automatically when they become eligible.

You can apply for Medicare in a few different ways:

  • by going online
  • by calling Social Security at 800-772-1213
  • by visiting your local Social Security office
  • by sending a letter to your local Social Security office

You don’t need to take these steps if you’re already enrolled in Medicare. Instead, you can use the open enrollment window to change your coverage.

You can do this by visiting the Medicare website and shopping for new plans. You can then select a plan you want and join.

You don’t need to take any extra steps. As long as you join the new plan during open enrollment, you can just select your new plan. Remember, you’re selecting coverage for the next plan year — which means your plan will change in January, not right away.

Changing Medicare plans during open enrollment is generally as simple as selecting a new plan. When you select a new plan, you’ll be automatically disenrolled from your old plan.

This works when you’re switching from one Advantage plan to another or from one Part D plan to another. You can also add a Part D plan this way. Just select a Part D plan and it will be added to your coverage starting in January.

Plus, you can go from original Medicare to an Advantage plan the same way. Select your new plan during opening enrollment, and starting in January, that plan will provide your coverage.

The only time you might need to take extra steps is going from Medicare Advantage back to original Medicare. You’ll need to call Medicare or your plan to make this switch. You can disenroll in your Advantage plan over the phone and your coverage will go back to original Medicare starting in January of the following year.

  • Medicare open enrollment allows you to make changes to your Medicare coverage.
  • You can enroll in an Advantage plan, join a Part D plan, or go back to original Medical.
  • If you already have Medicare Advantage, you switch to a different Advantage plan. You can also switch Part D coverage during open enrollment.
  • You can switch plans during open enrollment by simply enrolling in a new plan; you’ll be automatically disenrolled from your old plan.
  • Changes you make during open enrollment go into effect on January 1 of the following year.

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