You must have a qualifying enrollment period or a Special Enrollment Period to join or switch or drop your Medicare Advantage plan. The three main enrollment period are as follows:
Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) – When you first become eligible for Medicare, you have a 7-month window to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan. This window is 3 months before your Part A and B effective date, the month of, and 3 months after the effective date.
Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) – This period is from October 15th to December 7th each year. It is open to all Medicare beneficiaries to get into, out of, or switch their Medicare Advantage plan.
Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period (MA-OEP): This period comes after AEP and is from January 1 – March 31st every year. It allows you one more chance to switch your plan if you are not satisfied with the benefits you get with your current Medicare Advantage plan.
Outside of these enrollment periods, there are many other enrollment periods called Special Enrollment Periods (SEP), that may allow you to change your plan. The list is pretty long, but not to worry, you do not have to memorize or understand this list of enrollment opportunities. Our job at Senior Healthcare Advisors is to exercise any measures available to you to help you get the benefits you need.