Medicare Open Enrollment 2018

Learn what to do during Medicare's Annual Election Period

by Amy De Vore+ on Oct 01, 2017 | 6 Comments

Medicare’s Open Enrollment 2018 begins in October. Many seniors are confused about what options are available to them at this time. This article explains the dos, don’ts, cans, and cannots of Medicare’s Annual Election Period (aka Open Enrollment).

Visit our Open Enrollment Toolbox page

What Can I Do During Open Enrollment 2018?

During Open Enrollment Medicare you can switch your Part D or Medicare Advantage plan. You never have to answer to fill out a medical questionnaire to be enrolled -the only two exceptions with Medicare Advantage are if you are currently in a Long Term Care Facility or if you have End Stage Renal Disease (these are the two cases you cannot enroll in an MA plan). 

Learn More about Medicare AdvantageGet an MA Quote

When is Medicare’s 2018 Open Enrollment?

Medicare’s Open Enrollment is always October 15 -December 7. The effective date of the plan will always be January 1.

What Can’t I Do During Open Enrollment 2018?

During Medicare Open Enrollment 2018 you cannot do the following:

Why is Medicare’s Open Enrollment Important?

Medicare’s Open Enrollment because an MA or drug plan can change their formularies each year. This means that a drug covered by your plan one year, may not cover that drug at the same price, or worse yet, at all the next.  As well as, your Medicare Advantage plan can change their network of doctors and facilities, change they way they cover a medical service, and/or drop additional benefits like dental, vision, and hearing.

Learn More about Medicare Prescription Drug CoverageGet a Part D Quote

Can I Switch My Drug or MA plan outside of Open Enrollment?

The answer is maybe. If you moved out of your plan’s area or your plan mislead you, you can switch. For most others, you can’t, unless you qualify for the Medicare 5-star rule. This is if your MA or drug plan is not rated 5 stars, but you find a 5 star plan available in your area, you can switch anytime of the year. The only thing is, Medicare is strict on passing out 5 stars, so most markets don’t offer them. If you would like help finding a 5-star plan call our licensed independent insurance agents at 800-930-7956.

Still want more information about open enrollment? Click the button below!

Learn More about Medicare’s Open Enrollment



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Reader Comments and Questions

By Henry on January 10, 2019

For the past 3 years, my husband has had Medicare part A and B, as well as a supplemental Plan F. About a year and a half ago he stopped paying for his Plan D (just stopped paying). Is he able to get a Plan D supplemental policy again and if so, would he have to wait until open enrollment?

Hello Henry,
Based on the information you shared, it looks like he will have to wait until Open Enrollment to sign up for drugs coverage again.

Give us a call between October 15 and Dec 7 and we can help him enroll in a plan.
-Chris from

By Danny on October 01, 2018

I just started with Kaiser Medicare on 9/01, during open enrollment, can I switch to Sutter.

If you currently have a Medicare Advantage (MA) plan, you should be able to switch to any MA plan during open enrollment. To learn more visit our Open Enrollment ToolBox here. -Chris from

By e on June 13, 2018

I am still working at 67, I applied for part A Medicare when I turned 65 but not part B because I still have medical coverage at work. I'm considering retirement soon but confused about enrolling in part B. When would I be eligible and how do I do this? will I be penalized forever because I didn't need the coverage before? thank you.

Based on your information, you should be in good shape and will not have any penalties as long as your work coverage is considered "credible" by Medicare. You should also be able to apply for Medigap without answering any health related questions. Check out our Medicare Deadline Calculator so see your customized deadlines.

We would love to earn your business and help you research and enroll in a plan. Please call us.
-Eric at

By tony on June 01, 2018

turn 65 on sept 3 2018 how en where do I apply for medicare?

Tony, Go to this link to apply.
Go here to check your Medicare insurance deadlines
Give us a call if you want to apply for supplemental insurance. Best,
-Amy from

By Rudy on November 29, 2017

My 65th birthday is not until March 2018. Do I need to enroll during early enrollment or wait until three months prior to my birthday.

Open enrollment doesn't apply to those like you who new to Medicare. Check out our Medicare Initial Enrollment Deadlines here. Please let us know if we can help you pick or enroll in a supplemental plan.
-Eric from

By Amelia on June 23, 2017

are you saying that during open enrollment my current drug plan can drop a drug that they cover now? I'm on mail order, and wouldn't know until feb 2018.

Yes, your current drug plan can change its formulary during Open Enrollment. It isn't uncommon that Part D enrollees figure this out too late due to mail order options. We suggest that you ALWAYS compare your plan to others in your area during Open Enrollment. For help, call one of our Senior65 licensed independent insurance agents at 800-930-7956.
-Chris from

PLEASE NOTE: We cannot comment on specific Medicare claims. Contact Medicare directly if you are trying to see if your issue is covered.

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