Medicare Open Enrollment

The annual Medicare open enrollment period is October 15 - December 7. During this time, people with Medicare can make changes to their Medicare Advantage plans and prescription drug coverage for the following year.

Medicare diagram

When can I enroll in a Medicare Advantage or prescription drug plan?

When you are first eligible for Medicare, you may decide to receive your Medicare coverage through a Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C), or you may choose to add Medicare prescription drug coverage (Part D) to Original Medicare (Parts A and B) or a Medicare Advantage plan that doesn’t offer prescription drug coverage.

After you sign up for Medicare Advantage or a Prescription Drug Plan, you can review and adjust your coverage every fall — during open enrollment.

What is the Medicare Open Enrollment Period?

Each year, there are changes made to Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plans that affect cost, coverage and what doctors and pharmacies are in your plan’s network. If you currently have a plan, you should expect to receive materials notifying you of any changes being made for the next year.

Review your plan and make sure it still meets your needs. If it does not — or you find another plan for a better price — you can switch your plan during open enrollment.

There are two different periods you’ll want to mark on your calendar:

  1. Open enrollment for Medicare Advantage (Part C) and Medicare prescription drug coverage (Part D) is from October 15 - December 7.

  2. The Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period (MADP) is from January 1 to February 14. During this time, you can switch from a Medicare Advantage plan to Original Medicare, and add a stand-alone PDP (Part D) if you’d like.

Changes made to your coverage will go into effect January 1st of the next year.

What changes can you make during your open enrollment period (Oct. 15 - Dec. 7)?

  1. Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan

  2. Drop your Medicare Advantage plan and switch to Original Medicare

  3. Change Medicare Advantage plans — this may include plans that offer prescription drug coverage and those that do not

  4. Sign up for a standalone Prescription Drug Plan to use with Original Medicare

  5. Switch Prescription Drug Plans

  6. Drop your Prescription Drug plan altogether

What changes can you make during the Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period (Jan. 1 - Feb. 14)?

  1. Drop your Medicare Advantage plan and switch to Original Medicare

  2. Add a standalone Prescription Drug Plan if you decide to switch to Original Medicare during this period

Even if you’re satisfied with your coverage

Reviewing your coverage and shopping around each year could lower your premiums and out-of-pocket costs. Contact a licensed insurance agent to find available plans in your state and compare them based on your unique health care needs.

Call a licensed agent to enroll or make changes

To enroll in a new Medicare Advantage plan or prescription drug plan — or to make changes to your coverage during open enrollment — call TTY Users: 711.

Copyright © 2018 TZ Insurance Solutions LLC. All rights reserved.

**Medicare.gov, “Joining a health or drug plan.” Published 2018. https://www.medicare.gov/sign-up-change-plans/when-can-i-join-a-health-or-drug-plan/when-can-i-join-a-health-or-drug-plan.html#collapse-3181

MedicareAdvantage.com is a website owned and operated by TZ Insurance Solutions LLC. TZ Insurance Solutions LLC and TruBridge, Inc. represent Medicare Advantage Organizations and Prescription Drug Plans having Medicare contracts; enrollment in any plan depends upon contract renewal.

Plan availability varies by region and state. For a complete list of available plans, please contact 1-800-MEDICARE (TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048), 24 hours a day/7 days a week or consult www.medicare.gov.

Medicare has neither reviewed nor endorsed this information.