There may be a time when your health care needs change and you may want to change Medicare plans. When can you do this? Changes in plans can take place at different times, depending on the change you want to make:
During the Annual Election Period - from October 15 through December 7 each year (AEP) you can change Medicare Advantage or Medicare Part D Prescription Drug plans. Your new coverage will begin on January 1 of the new year.
During the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period - If you’re enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan and would like to change back to Original Medicare, Parts A and B, you are permitted to do so during the OEP, which runs from January 1 through March 31 each year. Additionally, you can enroll in a stand-alone Prescription Drug (Part D) coverage during this period. The effective date of the Part D coverage would be the first day of the month after the new plan receives your enrollment form.
During a Special Election Period - Medicare recognizes that special circumstances may occur that could necessitate a need to change your plans. As such, you may be able to change plans if:
- You lose your current coverage
- You move to a new address
- You qualify for other coverage, such as an employer-based program, Medicaid or a State Pharmaceutical Assistance Program
The dates and types of changes that can be made vary so be sure to check for details.