Change Your Plan During the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period

Find out when you can change your Medicare Advantage plan during the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period, and discover the reasons to switch.

Medicare Benefits Solutions

Sep 2, 2021

 3 minutes read

Enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan but now want to change it? Maybe you want to add prescription drug coverage or more comprehensive dental care. Whatever you’re looking to do, the annual Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period gives you an opportunity to switch just once from one Medicare Advantage plan to another.

What is the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period (MA OEP)?

The MA OEP takes place between January 1st and March 31st each year. This is when those who already have Medicare Advantage can make one change to their coverage, including:

  • Switching from one Medicare Advantage plan, with or without prescription drug coverage, to another Medicare Advantage plan, with or without prescription drug coverage
  • Dropping Medicare Advantage and reverting to Original Medicare (and enrolling in a Prescription Drug Plan at this time)

Any changes made to your Medicare Advantage plan coverage during the MA Open Enrollment Period take effect on the first day of the month following the change.

If you want to drop Medicare Advantage at any time other than during the MA Open Enrollment Period and revert back to Original Medicare, your only opportunity to do so is during the Annual Election Period from October 15th to December 7th, unless you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.

Should you make changes during the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period?

Not necessarily – and you’re not obligated to, either. The only important thing to do during the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period is review your plan’s coverage and decide whether or not you want to make a change. To help you with this, consider the following

  • Can I still see my preferred doctors?
  • Can I lower my out-of-pocket costs?
  • Have there been any changes to my medical needs?
  • Is the service I’ve received from my plan satisfactory?

If you think a change is necessary based on your answers to the questions above, you should consider talking to a licensed sales agent who can guide you through the plan choices available in your area. They’ll help you make an informed choice.

What to look for in a new Medicare Advantage plan

If you’re going to take advantage of switching during the MA Open Enrollment Period, you’ll want to ensure any new plan:

  • Has benefits at least as good as (and ideally, better than) your current plan
  • Is accepted by your preferred doctors
  • Covers any important medications you’ll need
  • Offers any additional benefits – like dental, hearing and vision care

Once you’ve made your decision – on your own, or with help from a trusted and experienced licensed sales agent – you may be ready to make the switch. Remember, you can always change your Medicare Advantage plan again during the next Annual Election Period, Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period, or a Special Enrollment Period if you qualify for one.

Need help with your Medicare Special Enrollment Period?

Use our online plan finder and comparison tool to find the Medicare Advantage plan for you, or call a dedicated, fully licensed sales agent at (866) 576-2956 or TTY 711 with any questions.

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