In the fall, from October 15 to December 7, you had the opportunity to review and make changes to your Medicare plan during Medicare’s Annual Election Period. But if you missed that opportunity, or if you have experienced a change of heart, you might have another chance to revamp your plan.
If you’re enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, the Open Enrollment period from January 1 to March 31 allows you to take certain actions:
- Review the details of your Medicare Advantage plan, such as covered providers and medications included in the formulary, to determine if it is still a good fit for your needs
- Shop for other Medicare Advantage plans available in your area
- Switch from one Medicare Advantage plan to another, if you find a better fit based on your needs
- Drop Medicare Advantage and go back to Original Medicare
- Add a Part D (prescription) plan, if you make the decision to switch to Original Medicare
Changes take effect on the first of the month after the month in which you make changes. So for example, if you switch into a new Medicare Advantage plan on February 10, your new plan will take effect on March 1.
One thing you cannot do during this time, however, is switch from Original Medicare into an Advantage plan. In order to do that, you will have to wait for the Annual Election Period in the fall or qualify for a Special Enrollment Period by meeting certain circumstances. Working with a Licensed Agent can help you to determine whether this step is possible for you at any point during the year.