Typically, you can only enroll in a different Medicare Advantage Plan or switch between Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage during specific times each year. Make sure to enroll in a timely manner to avoid gaps in coverage when using these enrollment periods.

  1. Fall Open Enrollment Period: You can make a number of changes to your Medicare coverage during Fall Open Enrollment (also known as the Annual Coordinated Election Period – ACEP). The Fall Open Enrollment Period occurs each year from October 15 through December 7, with your new coverage starting January 1.
    1. During this period you can:
      • Change your choice of health coverage
      • Add, drop, or change Medicare drug coverage
    2. You can make as many changes as you need during this period, and your last coverage choice will take effect January 1. To avoid enrollment problems, it is usually best to make as few changes as possible.
  2. Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period: You can switch from your Medicare Advantage Plan (excluding MSA plans) to Original Medicare during the Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period (MADP). The MADP occurs each year from January 1 through February 14. Remember, you can only use this enrollment period if you have a Medicare Advantage Plan. You can use the MADP to switch to Original Medicare with or without a stand-alone prescription drug plan (Part D). Changes made during this period take effect the first of the following month. For example, if you switched to Original Medicare in February, your new coverage would begin March 1.
  3. Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period
    If you have: You can switch to:
     
    A Medicare Advantage Plan with or without drug coverage Original Medicare and a Part D plan*

    or

    Original Medicare without a Part D plan

     
    A Medicare Private Fee-For-Service(PFFS) plan without drug coverage and a stand-alone prescription drug plan (MA and PDP) Original Medicare, but you must keep your current Part D plan
     
    Original Medicare with or without a prescription drug plan You cannot switch your plan during this time
     

    * If you have a Medicare Advantage Plan and a separate Part D plan, you can switch to Original Medicare but cannot change Part D plans.

  4. Special Enrollment Period: Under certain circumstances, you may be eligible for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP). SEPs allow you to change your health and/or drug coverage outside normal enrollment periods. For example, if your Medicare Advantage Plan would leave your area or you would move out of your plan’s service area, you would receive an SEP to switch to another MA Plan or to Original Medicare. There are several circumstances that may trigger an SEP.

Note: In most cases, you can only switch to a Medicare Medical Savings Accounts (MSA) during the Fall Open Enrollment Period.