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Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period (OEP)

What is the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period?

Medicare Advantage plan participants can make a one-time plan change from January 1-March 31 each year; this is known as the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period. During this time, MA enrollees are provided a one-time opportunity to:

  • Switch to a different Medicare Advantage plan
  • Drop a Medicare Advantage plan and return to Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B)
  • Sign up for a stand-alone Medicare Part D Prescription Drug plan, if electing to return to an Original Medicare plan (Parts A and B)/li>

For those enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, only one switch is allowed during the Medicare Advantage OEP in the first quarter of the year. If you sign up for a Medicare Advantage plan in the fall during the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period and decide you don’t like the plan once it takes effect in January, you have until the end of March to make a change. You can also only sign up for Part D coverage during the first 3 months of the year if you’re switching from a Medicare Advantage plan back to Original Medicare (Parts A and B).

What changes can’t be made during the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period?

The Medicare Advantage OEP is only accessible for current Medicare Advantage policyholders. During this time, Original Medicare policyholders cannot:

  • Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan
  • Join a Medicare Prescription Drug plan (Part D)
  • Switch Medicare Prescription Drug plans

The time allotted to change the above three scenarios occurs during the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period, which occurs each year from October 15-December 7.

For information on other types of Medicare Enrollment Periods, click on the links below:

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