Most people can join Medicare when they turn 65. You can also join if you:
If you did not sign up for Original Medicare (Parts A and B) during your Initial Enrollment Period, you can sign up during the General Enrollment Period. This takes place every year from January 1–March 31. Coverage will begin July 1.
The Medicare Annual Open Enrollment Period occurs every year from October 15–December 7. People can make changes in their Prescription Drug Plan (Part D) or Advantage Plan enrollment. If they do not want to stay in their current plan, they can enroll into a different Prescription Drug Plan, or Advantage Plan, or return to Original Medicare. Their new plan will start the following January 1.
This is the key time for individuals to review their health care and drug coverage and make changes for the following year, if they choose.
You can switch from your Medicare Advantage Plan to Original Medicare (Parts A and B) and pick up a Prescription Drug Plan (Part D), or to another Medicare Advantage Plan during the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period. You can only make this coverage change if you have a Medicare Advantage Plan. This occurs every year from January 1–March 31. If you have a Medicare Advantage Plan you will be able to switch to Original Medicare with or without a stand-alone Prescription Drug Plan (Part D).
There are Special Enrollment Periods for special circumstances. A person can make changes if: