Specific Times You Must Remember For Getting Medicare Coverage

When you decide how to get your Medicare coverage, you might choose a Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C) and/or Medicare prescription drug coverage (Part D).

There are specific times when you can sign up for these plans, or make changes to coverage you already have. You don’t need to sign up for Medicare each year. However, each year you’ll have a chance to review your coverage and change plans.

Watch a brief video about when you can sign up for Part C and Part D.
Find and compare plans in your area.
When you first get Medicare (Initial Enrollment Periods for Part C & Part D)

I am newly eligible for Medicare because I turned 65.
What can I do?

Sign up for a Medicare Advantage Plan and/or a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan.

When?

During the 7-month period that:

Starts 3 months before the month you turn 65
Includes the month you turn 65
Ends 3 months after the month you turn 65

If you join                                                                                 Your coverage begins
During one of the 3 months before you turn 65              The first day of the month you turn 65
During the month you turn 65                                            The first day of the month after you ask to join the plan
During one of the 3 months after you turn 65                 The first day of the month after you ask to join the plan

I am newly eligible for Medicare because I have a disability (under 65).
What can I do?

Sign up for a Medicare Advantage Plan or a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan. Your Medicare coverage begins 24 months after you get Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) disability benefits.

When?

During the 7-month period that:

Starts 3 months before your 25th month of getting Social Security or RRB disability benefits
Includes your 25th month of getting disability benefits
Ends 3 months after your 25th month of getting disability benefits

If you join                                                                                                                       Your coverage begins
During one of the 3 months before you first get Medicare                                The first day of your 25th month of entitlement to disability payments
During your 25th month of getting disability                                                        The first day of the month after you ask to join the plan
During one of the 3 months after your 25th month of getting disability         The first day of the month after you ask to join the plan

I am already eligible for Medicare because of a disability, and I turned 65.
What can I do?

Sign up for a Medicare Advantage Plan and/or a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan.
Switch from your current Medicare Advantage Plan or Medicare Prescription Drug Plan to another plan.
Drop a Medicare Advantage Plan or a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan completely.
When?

During the 7-month period that:

Starts 3 months before the month you turn 65
Includes the month you turn 65
Ends 3 months after the month you turn 65
If you sign up for a Medicare Advantage Plan during this time, you can drop that plan any time during the next 12 months and go back to Original Medicare.

 

I do not have Medicare Part A coverage, and I enrolled in Medicare Part B during the Part B General Enrollment Period (January 1–March 31).
What can I do?

Sign up for a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan.

When?

April 1–June 30

 

I have Medicare Part A coverage, and I enrolled in Medicare Part B during the Part B General Enrollment Period (January 1–March 31).
What can I do?

Sign up for a Medicare Advantage Plan (with or without drug coverage).

When?

April 1–June 30

 

During certain times each year (yearly enrollment periods for Part C & Part D)

Each year, you have a chance to make changes to your Medicare Advantage or Medicare prescription drug coverage for the following year. There are 2 separate enrollment periods each year.

 

Open Enrollment Period for Medicare Advantage and Medicare prescription drug coverage.
What can I do?

Change from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage Plan.
Change from a Medicare Advantage Plan back to Original Medicare.
Switch from one Medicare Advantage Plan to another Medicare Advantage Plan.
Switch from a Medicare Advantage Plan that doesn’t offer drug coverage to a Medicare Advantage Plan that offers drug coverage.
Switch from a Medicare Advantage Plan that offers drug coverage to a Medicare Advantage Plan that doesn’t offer drug coverage.
Join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan.
Switch from one Medicare drug plan to another Medicare drug plan.
Drop your Medicare prescription drug coverage completely.
When?

October 15–December 7

Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period.
Enrollment Period

Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period

What can I do?

If you’re in a Medicare Advantage Plan, you can leave your plan and switch to Original Medicare.
If you switch to Original Medicare during this period, you’ll have until February 14 to also join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan to add drug coverage. Your coverage will begin the first day of the month after the plan gets your enrollment form.
What can’t I do?

Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage Plan.
Switch from one Medicare Advantage Plan to another.
Switch from one Medicare Prescription Drug Plan to another.
Join, switch, or drop a Medicare Medical Savings Account (MSA) Plan.
When?

January 1–February 14

 

 

 

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