When Is the Medicare Open Enrollment Period?
Did you know that 7 out of 10 Medicare beneficiaries didn’t compare plans during recent Medicare Open Enrollment Periods?1 By reviewing your options online or with a licensed insurance agent, you could find a better fit for your needs and your budget.
HealthMarkets can help, whether you’re enrolling in Medicare for the first time or considering switching your coverage. It all starts with the annual window of time known as the Medicare Open Enrollment Period for 2022.
When Is Open Enrollment for Medicare?
The Medicare Open Enrollment Period for 2022 starts October 15 and ends December 7. During this span of several weeks, you can take the following actions.
- Switch to a Medicare Advantage plan from Original Medicare, Parts A and B, or the reverse
- Change Medicare Advantage plans
- Choose an Advantage plan that has prescription benefits if your Advantage plan doesn’t offer them, or the reverse
- Enroll in a Part D prescription drug plan or change from one to another
- Cancel your prescription drug coverage
The Medicare Open Enrollment Period goes by a few different names: Medicare Annual Enrollment Period, Annual Election Period (AEP), and Medicare Fall Open Enrollment.
What about the other enrollment periods?
There are a few other enrollment periods, however it’s important to know these are not the annual Medicare Open Enrollment Period.
- Your Medicare Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) begins three months before, and ends three months after, the month you turn 65. In total, the IEP lasts for seven months surrounding your birth month. During your IEP, you can choose to enroll in Original Medicare (Parts A and B), Medicare Advantage (Part C), and/or Medicare Part D. If you’re under 65 and receive disability benefits from Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board, you also have a seven-month IEP for the same Medicare coverage options mentioned above. Your IEP starts the three months before your 25th month of receiving disability benefits and ends three months after.
- The Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period takes place from January 1 through March 31. During this window, you can switch to one Medicare Advantage plan from another or return to Original Medicare. However, you won’t be able to switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan, join a Medicare drug plan if you have an Original Medicare plan, or switch from one prescription drug plan to another if you have Original Medicare.
- The General Enrollment Period (GEP) runs from January 1 through March 31 each year. During this Medicare enrollment period, you can take the following action: Sign up for Medicare Part A and/or Part B if you have not previously.
- Special Enrollment Periods allow you to change your coverage after a qualifying life event. Some of these qualifying events (and the time you have to make changes) include:
- Changing where you live: You have two months to make plan changes.
- Losing your coverage: You have two months to make plan changes.
- Getting an opportunity for other coverage: You can make changes to your coverage at any time (with a small exception for employer plans, given that companies have their own enrollment times).
- Changes made to your plan’s Medicare contract: Your timeline will vary based on the contract’s changes.
Get Help With Medicare at No Cost to You
A licensed insurance agent can help you review your current Medicare coverage and help you find a plan that suits your needs, at no cost to you. Call (800) 488-7621 to speak to a licensed insurance agent today, or find a licensed insurance agent near you.
You can also review your options online with HealthMarkets.