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"easyMedicare made getting the coverage I deserved easy and saved me a great deal of money."

- Joe Theismann

Joe Theismann - NFL MVP and Super Bowl Champion

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Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period: Who Is Eligible?


As time goes by, your Medicare coverage should keep up with it. Medicare’s Annual Election Period (Oct. 15 to Dec. 7) offers you the best opportunity to expand or reconfigure your coverage, but what do you do if you need to make changes outside of this 54-day-long window? The Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period could offer you the opportunity to change your coverage, but some restrictions may apply.

Who Can Use the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period?

The Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period applies to anyone who is enrolled in a Medicare Advantage (Part C) Plan. During this three-month enrollment period (January-March), you can change your Medicare Advantage plan or switch back to Original Medicare. However, you’re only allowed to change your plan once during this period. In contrast, the Medicare Annual Election Period (Oct. 15 to Dec. 7) allows you to make as many changes as you want.

Who Isn’t Eligible for this Enrollment Period?

If you are enrolled in Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) or a Medicare Supplement Plan instead of a Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C), you are not eligible for the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period at the beginning of the year. You will need to wait until the Medicare Annual Election Period in the fall before you can make changes to your coverage. There may be other opportunities to make coverage changes throughout the year, if special circumstances warrant a Special Enrollment Period (SEP).

What Can I Do If I’m Not Eligible?

Beyond waiting until the fall for the Medicare Annual Election Period, you can look into Special Enrollment Periods (SEPs) to see if your unique circumstances qualify you for special enrollment.

Here’s a look at some of the circumstances that may provide for an SEP:

  • Coverage is terminated — your plan’s contract with Medicare is terminated.
  • Loss of coverage — you’ve lost health insurance coverage from a group or union plan
  • Moving — your plan isn’t accepted in your new location after moving.
  • Emergencies — you missed the Medicare Open Enrollment Period due to an event deemed an emergency by the Federal Emergency Management Authority (FEMA).
  • Transitioning to or from long-term care — you moved into or out of an institution such as a nursing home
  • And more

Not sure whether you qualify? Keep reading to learn more about Special Enrollment Periods and eligibility.