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Understanding the different enrollment periods.

There are certain times during the year when you may be eligible to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan. Let’s review.
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When to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan.


Annual Enrollment Period (AEP)

October 15 - December 7

Anyone with Medicare Parts A and B can join, switch, or drop a Medicare Advantage plan or a Medicare Prescription
Drug Plan during AEP. Your coverage begins on January 1 as long as you enroll between October 15 and midnight on December 7.


Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period (MA OEP)

January 1 - March 30

If you are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan as of January 1, you may make a one-time election to go to another Medicare Advantage plan or Original Medicare and make a coordinating change to add or drop Part D Prescription drug coverage.


Initial Coverage Enrollment Period (ICEP)

When you first become eligible for Medicare.

You can join during the 7-month window that begins 3 months before your Medicare goes into effect, the month your Medicare begins, and 3 months after. Your coverage will begin the month your Medicare goes into effect or the 1st of the month following the month you elect coverage during your ICEP, whichever is later.


Special Enrollment Period (SEP)

There are special circumstances that allow changes at other times during the year. With an SEP, your coverage start date depends on the election period you are eligible for.
The most common Special Enrollment Periods happen when:

  1. You lose group health insurance coverage
  2. You move into an area with different plan options
  3. You qualify for Extra Help with prescription drug costs
  4. You have Medicaid or have a change in your Medicaid status