Making Changes to Your Medicare Coverage

Here’s how – and when – to make changes to your Medicare plan

Knowing when you can make changes to your coverage is important so that you can avoid enrollment penalties and lapses in coverage. Here’s a summary of when you can make changes and how to do it.

During your initial enrollment period you can:

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Your initial enrollment period takes place:

  • Three months prior to the month of your 65th birthday
  • The month of your 65th birthday
  • Three months after the month of your 65th birthday

Your initial enrollment period takes place:

You may qualify sooner for Medicare enrollment with a disability.

During your annual enrollment period

During the annual enrollment period existing Medicare beneficiaries can:

The annual enrollment period takes place:

  • Each year beginning October 15 and ending December 7.
  • Coverage begins January 1 of the following year.

During the Medicare Advantage open enrollment period

During the Medicare Advantage open enrollment period, you can:

Or, you can enroll in Original Medicare and, if needed, a stand-alone Part D prescription drug plan.

The MA OEP takes place:

  • Each year from January 1 to March 31.
  • Changes are effective the first of the month after you submit the request.

During a special enrollment period

During your special enrollment period, you can:

You may qualify for a special enrollment period if:

   You change where you live.

   You lose your current coverage.

   You have a chance to get other coverage (such as an employer’s coverage)

   Your plan changes its contract with Medicare

There are other special situations that may qualify for an SEP. Contact the Social Security Administration for details.

How to contact Social Security

If you need to contact the Social Security Administration, use the following information:

1-800-772-1213
(TTY: 1-800-325-0778)

Hours: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Monday through Friday

Automated phone services
available 24 hours a day,
seven days a week.

You can also apply for Medicare using the Social Security Administration’s online form.

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Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

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