When can you enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan or Prescription Drug Plan?

Initial Enrollment Period is 7 months long.  It includes your 65th birthday month plus the 3 months before and 3 months after. It begins 1 month earlier if your birthday is on the first of the month.  You may enroll in Part A, Part B or both and join a Medicare Advantage plan, Medicare Supplement plan and/or a Prescription Drug plan. You are not required to enroll in Part D, but there is a 1% penalty of the average monthly premium for each month you delay enrollment.

Annual Enrollment Period, October 15 – December 7 you can add, drop or switch your Medicare Coverage.

Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period, January 1 – March 31 – If you’re already a Medicare Advantage plan member, you may disenroll from your current plan and either switch to a different Medicare Advantage plan one time only, or go back to original Medicare during this period.

Special Enrollment Period – Depending on certain circumstances, you may be able to enroll in a Medicare plan outside of the initial enrollment or annual enrollment time frames. Some ways you may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period are if you:

  • Retire and lose your employer coverage
  • Move out of the plan’s service area
  • Qualify for Extra Help
  • Have been diagnosed with certain qualifying chronic health conditions.

Source: UHC Clarity Guide