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When to choose a Medicare Plan


September: Receive your plan's Annual Notice of Change (ANOC) booklet.  Review any/all changes being made to your current plan's benefits for the coming year. 


October: Use Medicare's tools to find new and existing plans being offered in the coming year.


October 15th - December 7th: (Annual Election Period)


This is the one time of year when ALL people with Medicare can make changes to their health and prescription drug plans without restrictions. Following are examples of what changes can be made.


  • Change from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage Plan.
  • Change from a Medicare Advantage Plan back to Original Medicare.
  • Switch from one Medicare Advantage Plan to another Medicare Advantage Plan.
  • Switch from a Medicare Advantage Plan that doesn’t offer drug coverage to a Medicare Advantage Plan that offers drug coverage.
  • Switch from a Medicare Advantage Plan that offers drug coverage to a Medicare Advantage Plan that doesn’t offer drug coverage.
  • Join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan.
  • Switch from one Medicare Prescription Drug Plan to another Medicare Prescription Drug Plan.
  • Drop your Medicare prescription drug coverage completely.

January 1st—Coverage Begins


  • Your new coverage begins if you switched to a new plan. If you stay with the same plan, any changes to coverage, benefits, or costs for the new year will begin on January 1st.

January 1st–March 31st: (Open Enrollment Period)


  • If you’re in a Medicare Advantage Plan (like an HMO or PPO), you now have the opportunity to make a one-time change to another "like plan". For example; Medicare Advantage (with or without drug coverage) to another Medicare Advantage (with or without drug coverage). 
  • Disenroll from a Medicare Advantage and return to Original Medicare        
  • Enroll in a Medicare drug plan

You are unable to:


  • Switch from Original Medicare to an Advantage plan
  • Join a Medicare drug plan if you're in Original Medicare
  • Switch from one Medicare drug plan to another if you're in Original Medicare

January 1st - September 30th: (Special Enrollment Period)


  • There are several "qualifying events" that allow a Medicare beneficiary to enroll in or change a Medicare plan outside of the two enrollment periods mentioned above, these include:
  • Moving in to or out of a plan's "service area" determined by County or State
  • Losing "creditable" coverage i.e., current plan no longer offers the plan in your service area
  • Opting off an employer group plan
  • Being diagnosed or treated for a qualifying chronic condition
  • Qualifying for Medicaid or Low Income Subsidy


If need have questions about enrollment please give us a call. We're here to help.



This information comes from and Medicare and You 2021.


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