Medicare Glossary

Definitions for common Medicare terms

Medicare open enrollment

DEFINITION: Medicare open enrollment – also known as the annual election period or annual coordinated election period  – refers to the annual period during which Medicare plan enrollees can reevaluate their coverage – whether it’s Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage or a prescription drug plan through Medicare Part D. During Medicare open enrollment, a beneficiary can switch Medicare Advantage plans, switch from Medicare Advantage back to Original Medicare, join a Medicare prescription drug plan or drop Medicare Part D coverage entirely.