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Open Enrollment Period

The Open Enrollment Period–sometimes called the Annual Election Period or Annual Coordinated Enrollment Period–runs each year from October 15 to December 7. During this time, anyone who has Medicare Parts A & B can:

  • Change from Original Medicare to a private Medicare Advantage plan.
  • Change from Medicare Advantage back to Original Medicare.
  • Join, drop, or switch a Part D prescription drug plan.
  • Switch Medicare Advantage plans.

Your coverage will start January 1 of the following year.

NOTE: If you have Original Medicare and a Medigap supplemental insurance policy, you should weigh your decisions very carefully before switching to  a Medicare Advantage plan.  You may have difficulty to get a Medigap plan again in the future if you decide to switch back. Learn more in our section on Medigap.

Be aware that if you did not sign up for Medicare when you were first eligible, and did not have other insurance, you may face a penalty for late enrollment.

Aon Hewitt Navigators® is a Medicare insurance brokerage service recommended by NCOA because it meets rigorous Standards of Excellence established by NCOA. You may be eligible for personal one-on-one assistance in selecting and enrolling in health coverage. All of the services are provided at no cost to consumers. Check to see if you are eligible.

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