Your Guide to the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period

Table of Contents:

  1. What Is the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period?
  2. Who Is Eligible for the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period?
  3. What Are My Options During the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period?
  4. Why Take Advantage of this Enrollment Period?
  5. What To Look For
  6. Learn More

Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period took place last fall. For some beneficiaries, another enrollment period is underway. Are you prepared for the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period?

What Is the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period?

The Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period is a unique enrollment period exclusively for Medicare Advantage policyholders. It runs from January 1st to March 31st every year, providing policyholders with a chance to review their coverage and, if necessary, make a change.

Who Is Eligible for the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period?

Anyone who is already enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan is eligible to take part in the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period. It’s a second chance for beneficiaries who neglected to participate in the Annual Enrollment Period or who are unsatisfied with their chosen plans.

What Are My Options During the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period?

Between January 1st and March 31st, Medicare Advantage beneficiaries can make the following changes:

  • Switch from one Medicare Advantage plan to another
  • Switch from Medicare Advantage back to Original Medicare

Beneficiaries who revert to Original Medicare can also choose a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan if necessary. Changes will go into effect on the first day of the following month.

Why Take Advantage of this Enrollment Period?

There are a number of reasons you may want to take a closer look at your Medicare Advantage plan during the ongoing enrollment period.

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You didn’t review your Annual Notice of Change: Medicare Advantage plans change every year. Providers send out documents detailing these changes, but it’s easy to skip over key details or neglect the documents altogether. This exclusive enrollment period provides a second chance to take a closer look and potentially make a switch.

Your new plan isn’t what you’d hoped: Maybe you made a change during last fall’s Annual Enrollment Period and aren’t happy with the results. You could be paying for benefits you don’t need, missing out on ones that could make a difference, or finding that the right providers aren’t covered. Whatever the situation, it’s not too late to make another, more suitable, switch.

You might be missing out on a plan that makes more sense for you: A plan that better suits your needs could be out there and you won’t know unless you take a look. It won’t cost you anything to review your options and compare plans, but it could pay off in a big way.

What to Look For

Each Medicare Advantage plan is different. Every plan is at least as comprehensive as Original Medicare, but many offer additional benefits. Depending on the carrier and plan you select, you may have access to services, including:

  • Routine hearing, vision, and dental care
  • Glasses, hearing aids, and dentures
  • Transportation services to and from healthcare facilities
  • Telehealth benefits to remotely connect you with providers
  • Prescription drugs

What’s more, Medicare Advantage plans do not feature standardized fees like Original Medicare. Premiums and cost-sharing requirements will vary. In 2021, the average Medicare Advantage policyholder will pay $21/month in addition to their Part B premium.

Learn More

Still have questions? Visit the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services website for additional information about Medicare Advantage plans.