Can I switch from Original Medicare to Medicare Advantage?
If you want to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, you can only do so during specific times:
- Initial Coverage Election Period (ICEP): This is the 7-month period when you are first eligible for Medicare. After you enroll in Parts A & B, you can choose to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan.
- Open Enrollment Period: Each year between October 15 and December 7 is the Open Enrollment Period for Medicare Advantage and Part D drug plans. During this time, you can switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan, or vice versa. You can also join or change Part D prescription drug plans during this period.
NOTE: Be aware that if you have Original Medicare with a Medigap/supplemental policy, and you switch to Medicare Advantage, you most likely will not be able to get a Medigap policy again if you switch back. Learn more about enrollment policies for Medigap.
To enroll, submit your application directly to the plan via the plan’s website or a plan sales representative. You can also call 1-800-MEDICARE or enroll on the Medicare website at Medicare.gov.
The date your coverage starts depends on the period in which you enroll. Remember not to drop your existing coverage, if any, until your coverage with your MA plan has started.
If you’re interested in switching to Medicare Advantage, you should get personal help to explore your options. You may also want to use our Medicare QuickCheck™ tool to explore whether a Medicare Advantage plan is best for your situation.
I don’t want to take Part B now. Can I switch to only Part A?
If you have coverage through your job or an actively working spouse, you may not want to enroll in Part B until later. Learn more about who should consider delaying Part B.
If your Medicare hasn’t started yet, there are two ways to drop Part B:
- If you were automatically enrolled in both Part A and Part B and sent a Medicare card, follow the instructions that come with the card, and send the card back. If you keep the card, you keep Part B and will pay Part B premiums.
- If you signed up for Medicare through Social Security, contact Social Security.