Can I Switch MA Plans?

I’m unhappy with my current Medicare Advantage plan. Can I switch to another one?

If you want to switch between one Medicare Advantage plan to another, you can do so each year during the Open Enrollment Period, which runs October 15 to December 7.

During this time, you can switch plans, move from Medicare Advantage to Original Medicare, and pick up drug coverage if you are in a MA plan that does not offer prescription coverage.

Once you select a new plan to enroll in, you'll be disenrolled automatically from your old plan when your new plan's coverage begins. You do not have to contact your old plan to disenroll.

What if I want to leave Medicare Advantage altogether and get Original Medicare?

You can leave your MA plan to return to Original Medicare during two times each year:

  • During Open Enrollment Period (Oct. 15 – Dec. 7)
  • During the Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period (Jan. 1 – Feb. 14)

In the Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period, you will have until Feb. 14 to pick up a Part D plan for prescription drug coverage. Note that during this time, you cannot switch between MA plans, or move from Original Medicare to MA. Your coverage will start on the 1st day of the month after the month in which you switch coverage.

Can I pick up a Medigap plan if I leave Medicare Advantage?

There are generally only a few situations that allow you to leave Medicare Advantage and pick up a Medigap plan without being subject to medical underwriting.

If you joined a Medicare Advantage plan when you were first eligible for Medicare, and you aren’t happy with the plan, you’ll have special rights to buy a Medigap policy if you return to Original Medicare within 12 months of joining.

If you are moving to a different state/part of the state and your Medicare Advantage plan does not serve that area, you also have special rights to return to Original Medicare and pick up a Medigap plan.

IMPORTANT: If you had a Medigap policy in the past, then left it to get an MA plan, when you return to Original Medicare, you might not be able to get the same Medigap policy back, or in some cases, any Medigap policy unless you have a “trial right” or “guaranteed issue” right. Learn more about the special situations that give you these guaranteed issue rights.

If you are considering switching MA plans or if you want to see if you qualify for a guaranteed issue right to join Medigap, you should get personal help to weigh your options.

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