Important Dates Regarding Medicare Plans

Date Why this time is important for you to remember
Your 65th birthday You are now eligible for Medicare
For eligible Americans, this marks the beginning of your Medicare years. You can enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan three months before you turn 65, during the month of your 65th birthday, and the three months afterward.
October 15 – December 7 Medicare’s Annual Election Period (AEP)
Medicare sets aside this period for enrollment in Medicare Advantage (MA) and Medicare Prescription Drug Plans (PDP). During this time you have the opportunity to enroll in a MA or PDP plan, switch from your current plan or return to Original Medicare for coverage effective on January 1 of the next year. Learn more about Medicare's AEP.
January 1 – February 14

Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period (MAPD)
During this time, you may disenroll from a Medicare Advantage plan and return to Original Medicare. Requests to disenroll will be effective on the first day of the month following your disenrollment request.

If you switch from a Medicare Advantage plan to Original Medicare during this time, you’re eligible for a Special Election Period (SEP)* and can enroll in a stand-alone Medicare Prescription Drug Plan. Your prescription drug coverage will begin the first day of the month after the plan receives your enrollment form.

During this time, you can’t:

  • Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan

  • Switch from one Medicare Advantage plan or Medicare Prescription Drug plan to another

  • Join, switch, or drop a Medicare Medical Savings Account Plan

*Note: if you enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Private Fee-for-Service (PFFS) plan that does not have prescription drug coverage, you must request disenrollment from the plan in order to be eligible for this SEP.

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