Medicare Open Enrollment

Each year between October 15 and December 7, Medicare offers an open enrollment period during which beneficiaries can make changes to several coverage options:

Pie chart showing total Medicare enrollment, including percentage of beneficiaries enrolled in Part C plans

Original Medicare is administered directly by the federal government and includes standardized premiums, deductibles, copays, and coinsurance payments. Medicare Advantage plans and Part D drug plans are administered by private companies approved by Medicare. Premiums, deductibles, copays, and coinsurance payments vary by plan.

During the open enrollment period, Medicare beneficiaries can do the following, with changes becoming effective on January 1:

Medicare Advantage plan participants who want to change back to Original Medicare can also do so from January 1 to February 14, with Original Medicare coverage beginning the first day of the following month. Those who make this change have until February 14 to join a Medicare prescription drug plan, with coverage beginning the first day of the month after the plan receives the enrollment form.

An additional opportunity, from December 8 to November 30 of the following year, allows Medicare beneficiaries to switch to a top-rated “5-star” Medicare Advantage plan or prescription drug plan. Medicare rates these plans every year, and a 5-star rating is considered excellent. You can use the star ratings to compare plans based on quality and performance.

For more on Medicare enrollment, visit medicare.gov/sign-up-change-plans.

 
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