Medicare Advantage (MA for short) has multiple enrollment periods each year including the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment.  We’ve listed them for you here to help you better understand your MA options.

This article was originally written June 20, 2014 but updated on the date above to reflect new information. 

Initial  Enrollment Period for Medicare Advantage

Medicare Advantage offers a 7-month initial enrollment period for Medicare Advantage.  For most people it starts 3 months before your 65th birthday, includes the month of your birthday, and continues the three months that follow your birthday.

Annual Enrollment Period

Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) is the yearly enrollment period in which you can change your MA or Part D drug plan regardless of preexisting conditions. This switching period runs from October 15-Dec 7 and most people just call it Open Enrollment.  Learn more about Medicare AEP Open Enrollment here:

Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment

Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment is different from AEP above because it is designed for two things only: 1) Switching MA plans or 2) Leaving MA and returning to Original Medicare.  It starts each year on Jan 1 and ends on March 31st.  Learn more about MA open enrollment here.

MA Special Enrollment Period

There are many special enrollment options with Medicare Advantage. The most common special enrollment occurs when if you move outside your current MA service area. If this happens to you,  you are guaranteed to be approve on any new MA plan of your choice in your new location.  Call us at 800-930-7956 to review your options and enroll in new plan.

One special enrollment option that you might not be aware of is the 5 star switching rule.  If you don’t like your Medicare Advantage plan you can switch to any  5-star Medicare Advantage plan.

Switching from a Medicare Advantage Plan to Medigap

Most of the time you will not be able to switch from Medicare Advantage to Medigap without answering health questions.  Here are the two exceptions:

MA to Medigap Trial Right Enrollment

If you chose a Medicare Advantage plan when you were initially eligible you are able to switch to a Medigap within the first twelve months. You have 60 days before your plan end date and up to 63 days after your Medicare Advantage plan ends to switch without a medical underwriting.

Medigap to MA back to Medigap Enrollment

If you switch from Medigap to MA but then regret your decision, you have the right to return to your original plan. .

For any further questions about switching your Medicare Advantage plan click the button below or contact for assistance.

Learn about Open Enrollment