When Can I Sign Up for Medicare?
Enter your birthday month and year to learn when you can sign up for different Medicare options.
Initial Enrollment Period: Turning 65
|Medicare Option||Your Initial Enrollment Period|
Part A - Hospital Insurance
Part B - Medical Insurance & Doctor Visits
Part C - Medicare Advantage (Parts A, B, and sometimes D bundled together)
Part D - Prescription Drug Coverage
(enter birthday month and year)
|Medicare Supplement Plans (Medigap)||(enter birthday month and year)|
Open Enrollment Period: Changing Your Medicare Plan
October 15th to December 7th
You have the option to change your Medicare plan each year during the Open Enrolment Period, October 15th to December 7th. Open Enrollment does not apply for Medicare Supplement Plans (Medigap).
What can I change during Open Enrollment?
- Change from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage Plan.
- Change from a Medicare Advantage Plan back to Original Medicare.
- Switch from one Medicare Advantage Plan to another Medicare Advantage Plan.
- Switch from a Medicare Advantage Plan that doesn't offer drug coverage to a Medicare Advantage Plan that offers drug coverage.
- Switch from a Medicare Advantage Plan that offers drug coverage to a Medicare Advantage Plan that doesn't offer drug coverage.
- Join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan.
- Switch from one Medicare drug plan to another Medicare drug plan.
- Drop your Medicare prescription drug coverage completely.
If I change my Medicare plan, when will my new plan begin?
Special Enrollment Period:
If You Currently Have an Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance Plan
What if I currently have health insurance from an employer and would like to keep my employer plan?
You can keep your employer’s health insurance plan and when you would like to sign up for Medicare you will have a Special Enrollment Period. You can sign up for Medicare any time you are still covered by your employer’s plan or your 8-month Special Enrollment Period will begin the month after your employer’s plan ends.
COBRA does not count as an employer plan and you will not have a Special Enrollment Period.
Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period (new starting in 2019)
January 1st to March 31st
If you are not satisfied with your current Medicare Advantage Plan, you can make the following changes:
- Switch to a different Medicare Advantage plan (with or without drug coverage)
- Disenroll from your current Medicare Advantage plan and return to Original Medicare. You will also be able to enroll in a Part D prescription drug plan.
General Enrollment Period:
Missed Your Initial Enrollment Period
January 1st to March 31st
If you missed signing up for Medicare during your Initial Enrollment Period, and if you do not have a Special Enrollment Period, then you still have the option to sign up for Part A and Part B during the General Enrollment Period, January 1st to March 31st.
When will my Medicare coverage start if I sign up during the General Enrollment Period?
Your coverage will not begin until July 1st.
Will I have to pay a penalty for signing up during the General Enrollment Period?
Maybe. You may have to pay a penalty as higher Part A or Part B premiums, for missing your Initial Enrollment Period and not qualifying for a Special Enrollment Period.