Most people are allowed to switch plans once a year, during the annual Open Enrollment Period (October 15 – December 7). But if you receive Extra Help with your Medicare prescription drug costs, you can switch plans as often as once a month.
Are there special circumstances when I could switch plans at other times?
Yes. You can switch plans if:
- You move out of the area your current plan serves OR
- You enter, leave or live in a nursing home OR
- Your plan changes and no longer serves your area OR
- You get Extra Help with your Medicare prescription drug costs.
There are other special situations where you might be able to qualify for a “Special Enrollment Period” when you might be able to join or switch plans. Call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) to learn more.
How do I join a new plan?
You can join a plan in the following ways:
- On Medicare's website. Use the Medicare.gov Plan Finder.
- On the plan's website. Visit the drug plan company's website. You may be able to join online. (ALERT: If you join using the web, the plan must send you a bill. The plan cannot ask for payment at the time you join online.)
- By paper application. Contact the company offering the drug plan you choose and ask for an application. Once you fill out the form, mail or fax it back to the company.
Where can I go for help?
For more information, consult your “Medicare & You 2013″ handbook. You can get it online at Medicare Publications or call Medicare at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227. TTY users, call 1-877-486-2048).