Medicare’s Open Enrollment is October 15 – December 7th. This period is meant give Medicare beneficiaries a chance to look over their benefits and decide if they want to switch or stay with their current plan.
This article was written on May 26, 2015 but updated on the date above with new information.
Open Enrollment IS For
Open Enrollment is meant for Medicare beneficiaries to SWITCH or JOIN health plans after their Medicare initial enrollment period. Each year you get a second chance with your plan regardless of preexisting conditions. Here are the following things you can do during Open Enrollment:
- Switch from Original Medicare to Medicare Advantage (MA)
- Switch from Medicare Advantage to Original Medicare
- Switch from one Medicare Advantage to another MA plan
- Join a drug plan*
- Switch from one Prescription drug plan to another
- Drop your drug coverage
*If you enroll after you’re eligible you may be subject to a Medicare drug plan penalty.
Open Enrollment is NOT For
Open Enrollment Medicare is not your initial enrollment period. A lot of people get confused that if they want Medicare Advantage or a prescription drug plan they wait until Open Enrollment. This is incorrect. If you know you want to start getting the benefits of either of these you’ll want to enroll when you first turn 65.
It is also not the period to enroll in a Medigap plan. It is important to note this because you only have one guaranteed enrollment period with Medigap.
What to Do During Open Enrollment
During Open Enrollment you’ll want to compare your plan to other plans offered in your area. For instance you’ll want to check if there have been changes in your current health plan, look to see if your current prescription drugs are covered at a lower cost from another plan, and if a larger network is offered through another plan. Want more information about Open Enrollment? Click the button below.