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How to Change Medicare Plans During Open Enrollment

People who are enrolled in Medicare have the option to make changes to their plan coverage only at certain times of the year. Once you enroll in a new plan, Medicare will inform your original insurance carrier that you have picked a new plan, and you will automatically be disenrolled from your existing plan. 

If you want to change your Medicare plans, follow these steps:

  1. Review the annual notice of change that is sent by your current insurer to outline the changes to plan benefits and/or costs intended to take effect on January 1st.
  2. Go to Medicare Plan Finder to search for plan options available in your country of residence to look at potential options or ones that better fit your individual needs.
  3. Check out the websites of different health plans
  4. Contact a licensed broker

If you are satisfied with your plan, there is no need to make any changes. However, if you want to make a change during the annual open enrollment period, enrolling into a new plan will automatically cancel your plan at the end of the year, and coverage for the new plan starts on January 1st.


Can You Change Medicare Plans Mid-Year?

When enrolled in one of the main Medicare programs, there is an annual election period that takes place every year between October 15 and December 7. During this period of time, you can switch from Original Medicare to Medicare Advantage, or the other way around. After you make this change, the coverage will begin on January 1 of the following year. 

When you enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan during the annual election period, you are allowed to make a one-time switch to a different Medicare Advantage plan or Original Medicare during the Medicare Advantage open enrollment period from January 1 to March 31. 

If you are considering making a switch, it is important to understand the designated enrollment times throughout the year.. Your health care needs can change over time and the annual election period provides an opportunity every year to evaluate your options and, if needed, make a change to your plan.


Can You Change Medicare Plans After Open Enrollment?

Significant life events such as moving or losing coverage from your current health insurance provider are some of the most common events that trigger a Special Enrollment Period. Because options to change Medicare plans are limited after an open enrollment period, it’s important to shop carefully for a Medicare plan. Rules and requirements may also vary by state and county, depending on the plan options available in that municipality. Medicare Advantage and Medicare supplement plans are sold through private insurance companies and are sold by licensed brokers or online. 


Can You Cancel Medicare Health Insurance At Any Time?

In most cases, you can voluntarily disenroll from your Medicare health insurance plan with no penalties only during an open enrollment period or special enrollment period. If you enroll into a new Medicare plan during the annual election period, you will automatically be disenrolled from your existing plan on the day before your new coverage starts. There are a few situations that may require involuntary disenrollment, including changes in eligibility for membership in special needs plans or extra help programs.