Medicare Annual Election Period (AEP)
Do you want to make changes to your Medicare coverage?
There are certain times when you can make these changes; some of these time periods are different depending on the type of Medicare plan. For Medicare Advantage (also known as Medicare Part C) and Medicare prescription drug plans, there’s an Annual Election Period (AEP) when you can sign up for, change, or disenroll from the plan.
The Annual Election Period runs from October 15 to December 7 each year.
If you didn’t sign up for one of these plans when you first became eligible for Medicare (during your Initial Enrollment Period), the AEP is generally your chance to make these changes, unless you qualify for a Special Election Period (SEP).
What changes can you make during the AEP?
Here’s a quick rundown of what you can do during the Annual Enrollment Period:
- Change to a Medicare Advantage plan from Original Medicare, Part A, and Part B.
- Change from a Medicare Advantage plan to Original Medicare, Part A, and Part B.
- Change from one Medicare Advantage plan to another (regardless of whether either plan offers drug coverage).
- Enroll in a Part D prescription drug plan.
- Change from one Medicare prescription drug plan to another.
- Opt out of Medicare prescription drug coverage completely.
Changes you make during the AEP go into effect January 1 of the next year.
To get immediate assistance, please give us a call or make an appointment with one of our agents.
Making changes after the Medicare AEP
Suppose you’re enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan and you want to switch to Original Medicare, Part A, and Part B. You can make this change during the Medicare Enrollment Period, from January 1 to March 31 each year.
If you switch to Original Medicare during this period, you will have until March 31 to enroll in a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan. This coverage is optional, but if you wait until a future date to add it, you could pay a penalty for late enrollment (see below). Your coverage will begin the first day of the month after the plan gets your enrollment form.
Medicare allows changes outside the standard enrollment periods in specific situations that are often out of the beneficiary’s control, such as
- Moving out of your plan’s service area.
- Receiving both Medicare and Medicaid benefits.
- Qualifying for Extra Help.
- Living in, moving to, or moving from an institution such as a long-term care hospital or skilled nursing facility.
You could be charged a late-enrollment penalty (an amount that is added to your Medicare Part D premium for as long as you have this coverage) if all of the following are true:
- You don’t enroll in a Medicare prescription drug plan (such as a stand-alone Medicare prescription drug plan or a Medicare Advantage plan that includes prescription drug coverage) when you’re first eligible.
- You don’t have other creditable prescription drug coverage for 63 or more days in a row.
- You then decide to enroll in a Medicare drug plan at a later date.
Initial Enrollment Period
General Enrollment Period
Special Enrollment Period
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This guide helps you learn about the different parts of the Medicare program, including Medicare Part A and Part B (together, they are often called “Original Medicare”), Part C (often called “Medicare Advantage”) and Part D (the part of Medicare that covers your prescription medications).
This website and its contents are for informational purposes only. Nothing on the website should ever be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. You should always consult with your medical provider regarding diagnosis or treatment for a health condition, including decisions about the correct medication for your condition, as well as prior to undertaking any specific exercise or dietary routine.
Florida Health Agency is a licensed health insurance agency certified to sell Medicare products. 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.
Medicare has neither reviewed nor endorsed this information.