When can I enroll in Medicare?
Medicare has different enrollment periods. When you first turn 65, you have a 7-month window called the Initial Enrollment Period. This includes three months before your birthday month, your birthday month, and three months after. If you miss this window, there are several other enrollment periods.
Special Enrollment Period
Special Enrollment Periods are designed to help those in specific situations. If you are moving out of your plan’s service area or if you are losing your current healthcare or prescription drug coverage, you are eligible for the Special Enrollment Period. Learn more about special enrollment periods here.
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General Enrollment Period
If you did not sign up during the Initial Enrollment Period and are not eligible for the Special Enrollment Period, you may sign up during the General Enrollment Period. The General Enrollment Period is every year between January 1 and March 31.
Annual Enrollment Period
If you would like to make changes to your Medicare coverage, you can do so during the Annual Enrollment Period. This period is from October 15 to December 7. These changes will be active on January 1. Changes that apply during the Annual Enrollment Period include changing between Original Medicare and a Medicare Advantage Plan, buying prescription drug coverage, or switching to a new plan.
Medicare Advantage Enrollment Period
If you are on a Medicare Advantage Plan, you may choose to keep your plan or change your mind during the Medicare Advantage Plan Enrollment Period. Between January 1 to March 31, you may either keep your Medicare Advantage Plan or switch to Original Medicare. New changes will begin on the first day of the following month.