Switching or Changing Your Medicare Plan

Medicare Benefits Solutions
Aug 11, 2021

Our health needs change as time goes on. That can become frustrating when we feel trapped in our Medicare plan. But there’s no need to feel trapped.

Switching your Medicare plan may sound intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. We’re here to help you find the right Medicare plan for you, period. All that matters is that you’re getting the most from your Medicare plan. Let’s go over some basics that will make you feel more empowered to switch plans. We’ll go over when, why, and how you can switch your Medicare plan

From our video series

Medicare Questions: How To Change Medicare Plans

When Can You Change Your Medicare Plan?

There are a few different times during the year that you can switch your Medicare plan. There’s the Annual Enrollment Period, also known as AEP. Then, there’s the Open Enrollment Period, or OEP. Lastly, there’s Special Enrollment Period, or SEP. Unless you’re turning 65 and enrolling into Medicare for the first time, these enrollment periods will be your bread-and-butter.

Annual Enrollment Period

AEP occurs from October 15th to December 7th. During this period, you can do several things if you’re dissatisfied with your current Medicare plan:

  • Switch from Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Part B) to Medicare Advantage
  • Change Medicare Advantage plans
  • Go from Medicare Advantage to Original Medicare
  • Switch to another Medicare Part D plan
  • Change from Medicare Supplement to Medicare Advantage
  • Or drop Part D coverage from your plan

Open Enrollment Period

OEP happens from January 1st to March 31st. If you’re looking for a change, you may:

  • Switch Medicare Advantage plans
  • Enroll in a Part D plan
  • Or switch from Medicare Advantage back to Original Medicare

Special Enrollment Period

The Special Enrollment Period is, well, special. Certain events in your life can trigger a Special Enrollment Period. For example, if you move or lose other insurance coverage. During a SEP you can:

  • Make changes to your Medicare Advantage plan
  • Change your Medicare Part D Prescription Drug plan

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When Does My New Medicare Plan Start?

Get the ball rolling early. After these time periods end, you can’t change your Medicare plan unless under special circumstances. Please note that if you switch during AEP your new coverage will start at beginning of the new year. And if you change during OEP, your new coverage will start the month after you make the change request. Check with our agents if you have questions about when your new plan will take effect.

What Are the Benefits of Switching Medicare Plans?

Medicare plans adjust their coverage every year. Each year, Medicare participants receive an Annual Notice of Change which details how their coverage will change. Sometimes, plans lose coverage that you still need. Or your health needs change and your current plan doesn’t cover it. For example, if you are on Original Medicare and need dental coverage, we can help you find the right Medicare Advantage plan with the coverage you need.

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