Enrollment Periods

Most people can join Medicare when they turn 65. You can also join if you:

  1. Receive Social Security disability checks for 24 months, or
  2. Have permanent kidney failure, known as End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD), or
  3. Have Lou Gehrig’s Disease, known as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).

General Enrollment Period

If you did not sign up for Original Medicare (Part A and B) during your initial enrollment period. You can sign up during the General Enrollment Period. This takes place every year starting January 1-March 31st. Coverage will begin July 1st.

Medicare Annual  Enrollment Period

The Medicare Fall Open Enrollment occurs every year from October 15 – December 7. People can make changes in their plan enrollment. If they do not want to stay in their current plan, they can enroll into a different 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.

Medicare Advantage Enrollment Period 

You can switch from your Medicare Advantage Plan to Original Medicare (Part A and B) and pick up a Part D Plan or to another Medicare Advantage during Medicare Advantage Enrollment Period (MADP). You can only make this coverage change if you have a Medicare Advantage Plan. This occurs every year from January 1 to March. 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).

Special Enrollment Periods

There are Special Enrollment Periods for special circumstances. A person can make changes if:

  • If he or she moves out of the service area,
  • If he or she qualifies for extra help to pay for Medicare prescription drug coverage, or
  • If the plan decides to leave the Medicare program or reduce its service area at the end of the year.

Click here for more special enrollment periods. 

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