When You Can Enroll in a Private Plan

You can enroll in a private Medicare plan, also known as Medicare Advantage or Medicare Part D (prescription drug coverage), during specific enrollment periods. These enrollment periods are established by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and may include:

Initial Enrollment Period (IEP): When you first become eligible for Medicare, you have an Initial Enrollment Period that lasts for seven months. It begins three months before you turn 65 (or when you become eligible due to a disability) and continues for three months after your birthday month.

Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) or Open Enrollment Period (OEP): The Annual Enrollment Period typically runs from October 15 to December 7 each year. During this time, you can change your Medicare coverage, including enrolling in, switching, or dropping a Medicare Advantage or a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan.

Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period (MA OEP): From January 1 to March 31 each year, if you are already enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, you have the option to switch to another Medicare Advantage plan or return to Original Medicare with or without a standalone prescription drug plan.

Special Enrollment Periods (SEPs): These are triggered by certain life events, such as moving to a new area, losing other health coverage, becoming eligible for Medicaid, or qualifying for Extra Help with Medicare prescription drug costs. SEPs allow you to change your Medicare coverage outside the standard enrollment periods.

Initial Coverage Election Period (ICEP): If you’re newly eligible for Medicare due to age or disability, you can enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan or a Part D prescription drug plan during this period, which starts three months before your Medicare Part A and Part B coverage begins and lasts for three months.

It’s important to note that specific plans’ availability and details may vary by location and insurance provider. Be sure to research the available plans in your area, compare their costs and coverage, and enroll during the appropriate enrollment period that suits your needs.

We do not offer every plan available in your area. Currently we represent 6 organizations that offer 46 products in your area. Please contact Medicare.gov, 1-800-MEDICARE, or your local State Health Insurance Program (SHIP) to get information on all of your options.