4. Fall Open Enrollment Period
The fall enrollment period runs from October 15 through December 7 of each year. During the fall enrollment period, those on Medicare can make changes and additions to their coverage. Such changes include switching from Medicare Advantage back to Original Medicare or vice-versa. Members may also switch from one Advantage plan to another, join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan, switch Medicare drug plans, or drop prescription drug coverage altogether. Changes made in Medicare coverage will then go into effect on January 1.
3. Special Enrollment Period
In addition to the typical enrollment dates, the U.S. government provides a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) for individuals who experience major life changes at other times of the year. Events that may qualify for an SEP include losing health insurance, moving out of the covered area, getting married, having a baby, or adopting a child. Typically, an individual has 60 days following the life event to enroll in a plan. Once the 60 days have passed, it is necessary to wait for the next Open Enrollment Period to apply for coverage.
2. New Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period
The new MA OEP allows individuals to make certain changes to their existing Medicare Advantage Plans. January 1 through March 31 are the dates in which members can make these changes to their plans. Changes that can be made during the MA OEP include switching from one Medicare Advantage Plan to another or dropping the Medicare Advantage Plan to return to Original Medicare. During this time period, members are not able to switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage Plan or either join or change a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan if they are enrolled only in Original Medicare.