Close close icon

Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period


If you’re unhappy with your current Medicare Advantage plan, the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period is a once-a-year window when you can make a change. Time and time again, we hear how beneficiaries decided to go with a Medicare Advantage plan without fully understanding how these plans work. It happens when beneficiaries try to take on the task of enrolling in a plan without an agent. Or with an agent who didn’t have their clients’ best interest in mind.

If you fall into at least one of the above categories, then keep reading. The video below also goes over this enrollment period in depth.

What is the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period?

Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period

The Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period runs annually between January 1 and March 31. But, there are plenty of Medicare Advantage Enrollment Periods you should understand.

During this window, a current Medicare Advantage enrollee can:

  1. Switch from one Medicare Advantage plan to another.
  2. Disenroll from a Medicare Advantage plan and return to Medicare, with or without a prescription drug plan.

If you have a Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug Plan, you can switch to another or you could switch to just a Part D plan.

You can only make one change to your healthcare coverage during this time, so choose wisely. Once you make that change, you cannot make another change until the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period outside of qualifying for a Special Enrollment Period.

This enrollment period is ONLY for beneficiaries currently enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan.

 Listen to this Podcast Episode Now!
 

Who’s Eligible for the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period?

This enrollment period is NOT for new beneficiaries trying to enroll in Part A or Part B. It’s NOT for new beneficiaries seeking to join in a Part D plan who are not currently on a Medicare Advantage plan. It’s also NOT for those seeking to switch their Part D to another Part D.As stated above, this enrollment period is only for those beneficiaries who are currently enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan. For those familiar with Medicare, you may remember this time as the Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period.

When Will My Policy Go in Effect if I Enroll During the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period?

If you enroll in a policy during the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period, coverage starts on the first day of the month following the date of the new enrollment request. For example, those requests in January become effective on February 1. Applications in February become effective March 1.

Why Discontinuing the Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period Was a Bad Idea

The Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period ran annually between January 1 through February 14. The ACA legislation discontinued the Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period in 2010. The problem with discontinuing the Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period is it was forcing beneficiaries to keep a plan they didn’t want, or that didn’t fit their healthcare needs for an entire year.

Many times, the beneficiary has the misconception that their Medicare Advantage plan is the same as a Medicare Supplement plan, which is far from the truth. There are many disadvantages to Medicare Advantage plans

FAQs

When can I disenroll from a Medicare Advantage plan?
You can disenroll from a Medicare Advantage plan during the Annual Enrollment Period or during the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period. Also, if you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period, you may be able to leave Part C for Medigap and Part D.
How to disenroll from a Medicare Advantage plan?
If you sign up for a new Part C plan, Medicare will automatically disenroll you from your plan. But, any other time you can call the company and tell them the final date of coverage.
What is the difference between the Annual Enrollment Period and the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period?
The Annual Enrollment Period is the open enrollment window during the fall. It runs from October 15 through December 7. During the Annual Enrollment Period, you can make changes more than once; the final enrollment is the one in effect.
What happens when you're eligible for the Initial Coverage Period and the Open Enrollment Period?
The Initial Coverage Election Period is an open enrollment window for newly-eligible beneficiaries to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan. If the beneficiaries Initial Coverage Election Period is occurring at the same time as the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period, their Initial Coverage Election Period will take priority.

How to Get Help During the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period

Are you unhappy with your current coverage? Do you wonder if there is a better plan option out there? If you're looking to change your current Medicare Advantage plan during the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period, give us a call. We can help you get the coverage you needed from the beginning. Even if you're just curious about your options, we can either reassure you or find something that brings you the most value. If you prefer to look at options yourself, use our online rate form to see rates for plans in your area.

Enter Zipcode

Enter your zip code to pull plan options available in your area.

Compare Plans

Select which Medicare plans you would like to compare in your area.

Get Quote

Compare rates side by side with plans & carriers available in your area.

Lindsay Engle

Lindsay Engle is the Medicare expert for MedicareFAQ. She has been working in the Medicare industry since 2017. She is featured in many publications as well as writes regularly for other expert columns regarding Medicare. You can also find her over on our Medicare Channel on YouTube as well as contributing to our Medicare Community on Facebook.

2 thoughts on “Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period

  1. Which Medicare program fits best when you also have VA coverage and travel throughout the year often away from home base.

Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *