Since 2011, we've helped more than 5 million people understand their Medicare coverage.
Get coverage now!
* By shopping with our third-party insurance agency partners. You may be contacted by a licensed insurance agent from an independent agency that is not connected with or endorsed by the federal Medicare program.
We do not offer every plan available in your area. Any information we provide is limited to those plans we do offer in your area. Please contact Medicare.gov or 1–800– MEDICARE to get information on all of your options.
What is the Medicare Advantage open enrollment period?
How to choose between Medicare Advantage, Medigap and Part D
Considering a change to your Medicare coverage? Consider these 10 factors when choosing between Medicare Advantage, Medigap, and Part D coverage.
How soon after I enroll will my Medicare benefits begin?
Medicare beneficiaries need to know when their plan will be effective so they can avoid coverage gaps that could leave them without access to care they need.
10 factors to consider when choosing Medicare Advantage, Medigap and Part D plans
10 factors to consider when you're buying Medicare private plan coverage: Medicare Advantage, Medigap, and Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage.
Four reasons to change your Medicare Advantage coverage
If you're enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan and you're not happy with it, you can switch plans during Medicare's annual open enrollment period. Here are four reasons why you might change coverage.
Four ways to adjust your Medicare coverage
If you're like most Medicare enrollees, you probably aren't planning to make any changes to your existing coverage for the coming year, but – like most beneficiaries – you should probably at least consider it during Medicare's open enrollment period. And if you have Medicare Advantage, you also have an opportunity to change your coverage between January and March each year.
Medicare Advantage (Part C) private health plans
Medicare Advantage provides Medicare-covered benefits through private insurance companies. Learn about enrollment, plan benefits, costs, and get a free quote.
During the Medicare Advantage open enrollment period (MAOEP) – which runs from January 1 to March 31 – Medicare Advantage enrollees can switch to Original Medicare or to a different Medicare Advantage plan from the one they are currently enrolled in. The ability to switch plans during the MAOEP is limited to one plan change per year.
When Medicare Advantage enrollees switch to Original Medicare during the MAOEP, they’re also eligible to purchase a Part D Prescription Drug Plan. But a person who has Part D coverage with Original Medicare cannot use the Medicare Advantage open enrollment period to switch to a different Part D plan, since this window only applies to Medicare Advantage enrollees.
A person switching from Medicare Advantage to Original Medicare during the MAOEP will not necessarily have guaranteed-issue access to a Medigap plan to supplement the Original Medicare coverage. It will depend on how long the person had Medicare Advantage, what state they’re in, and whether they qualify for any of the federal guaranteed-issue rights for Medigap plans.
The MAOEP gives enrollees an opportunity make a different plan choice if the Advantage plan they picked during the annual election period (October 15 to December 7) doesn’t end up meeting their needs. It’s also a chance for a person to make a plan change if they skipped the fall enrollment window, let their Advantage plan auto-renew, and then found out early in the new year that the benefits had changed and the plan would no longer meet their needs.
But it’s important to think of the MAOEP as a back-up rather than a primary plan change window. Ideally, it’s best to make any plan changes during the fall election period, so that the new plan takes effect January 1. If you use the MAOEP, your new plan will take effect in February, March, or April, depending on when you sign up. At that point, you’ll start over with a new deductible and out-of-pocket maximum for the new plan. Any out-of-pocket costs you paid while covered by your old plan in the early weeks or months of the year will not count towards your out-of-pocket responsibilities under the new plan.
So, if you want to make a plan change, carefully considering your plan options during the fall election period and having your new plan start January 1 is the best way to minimize your total out-of-pocket costs for the calendar year.