Medicare Open Enrollment
October 15 - December 7
Medicare is stronger than ever with better choices and lower costs.
- Each year, there are new health plan and prescription drug coverage choices. Review your current health and prescription drug coverage each fall, and make sure your plan’s still right for you.
- Take advantage of free preventive benefits, cancer screenings, and yearly “Wellness” visits.
- You can save money if you’re in the “donut hole” with big discounts on brand-name prescription drugs.
Is my plan right for me?
Medicare can show you plans in your area that may:
- Cost less
- Cover your drugs
- Let you go to the providers you want, like your doctor or pharmacy
You can also get:
- An estimate of your out-of-pocket costs
- Quality and customer service ratings from current plan members
Decide which plan will meet your needs for next year. If you want to change plans, call the plan you want to join. Medicare can also help you enroll—online, in person, or on the phone. If you’re satisfied that your current coverage will meet your needs for next year, you don’t need to do anything.
Remember, during Medicare Open Enrollment, you can decide to stay in Original Medicare or join a Medicare Advantage Plan (like an HMO or PPO). If you’re already in a Medicare Advantage Plan, you can use Open Enrollment to switch back to Original Medicare.
Remember, Medicare plans can change each year
Important Medicare dates
September & October—Review & compare
Review: Your plan may change. Review any notices from your plan about changes for next year.
Compare: Starting in October, use Medicare’s Plan Finder to find a plan that meets your needs. Visit the Medicare Plan Finder at Medicare.gov/find-a-plan.
October 15—Open Enrollment begins
This is the one time of year when ALL people with Medicare can make changes to their health and prescription drug plans for the next year.
Decide: October 15 is the first day you can change your Medicare coverage for next year.
December 7—Open Enrollment ends
In most cases, December 7 is the last day you can change your Medicare coverage for next year. The plan has to get your enrollment request (application) by December 7.
January 1—Coverage begins
Your new coverage begins January 1 if you switch to a new plan. If you stay with the same plan, any changes to coverage, benefits, or costs for the new year will begin on January 1.
Making changes to your coverage after January 1
Between January 1–March 31, if you’re in a Medicare Advantage Plan (like
an HMO or PPO), you can leave your plan and switch to another Medicare Advantage Plan or Original Medicare. If you switch to Original Medicare, you’ll have until March 31 to also join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan to add drug coverage. Your coverage will begin the first day of the month after the plan gets your enrollment form. In certain cases, you may be able to make other changes if you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. Visit Medicare.gov, or call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) to learn more. TTY users can call 1-877-486-2048.