Enrolling in a Medicare Advantage Plan
3 things to know about Medicare Part C enrollment:
- There are certain Medicare Advantage enrollment periods established to add, change, or drop coverage.
- If you are enrolling for the first time, you should apply for a Medicare Advantage plan during the 7-month Initial Enrollment Period around your 65th birthday.
- Special Enrollment Periods may let you buy a plan outside of the main enrollment periods.
Medicare requires that you enroll, disenroll, or make changes to your Medicare Advantage plan only during pre-determined enrollment periods.
How to enroll
Once you find a Medicare Advantage plan you wish to enroll in, you may be able to apply online, over the phone, or using a paper enrollment form from the plan sponsor.
One of MedicareAdvantage.com’s licensed agents can help you compare plans and apply over the phone. Call 1-855-916-8855 for assistance. You can also compare plans online by clicking here.
When you apply for coverage, you must provide your Medicare number and the dates that your Medicare Part A and Part B coverage began, according to Medicare.gov. These dates are listed on your Medicare card.
When to enroll or change your coverage
You need to wait for an enrollment period to sign up for, make changes to, or leave a Medicare Advantage plan.
|Guide to Medicare Advantage enrollment periods|
|Enrollment period||Dates||Actions you can take during this period|
|Initial Enrollment Period||Starts 3 months before the month
you turn 65
Ends 3 months after the month you turn 65
|Sign up for a Medicare Advantage plan|
|Medicare Open Enrollment
Period (aka Annual Enrollment)
|Starts October 15
Ends December 7
- Sign up for a Medicare Advantage plan
- Switch Medicare Advantage plans
- Leave a Medicare Advantage plan
|Starts January 1
Ends February 14
|Leave a Medicare Advantage plan|
|Special Enrollment Period||Depends on your personal situation||Depends on your personal situation|
Find your personal situation below to determine when you can enroll in, leave, or make changes to a Medicare Advantage plan.
(The following sections outline the most common situations. If none of these situations apply to you, you may be able to qualify for a special enrollment period depending on your personal situation. Medicare.gov provides a full list of special circumstances that may qualify you for a special enrollment period.)
First-time Medicare Advantage plan enrollees
You are 65 & signing up for Medicare Parts A & B
You can join a Medicare Advantage plan during your Initial Enrollment Period.
This enrollment period is 7 months long. It starts 3 full months before the month in which you turn 65. It continues through the month of your birthday, and then for another 3 full months.
Example: You turn 65 on June 5. Your Initial Enrollment Period starts on March 1 (3 full months before June) and ends September 30 (3 full months after June).
You have Medicare Part A & are signing up for Part B during General Enrollment
You can enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan between April 1 and June 30.
You are disabled & under 65
You can enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan after you have been getting Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board benefits for 21 full months. After that point, you have 7 full months to enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan.
Current Medicare Advantage plan enrollees
You want to switch or make changes to your plan
You can make changes to your current plan, switch plans, or add drug coverage during the Annual Open Enrollment Period, which runs from October 15 to December 7 each year.
You want to drop your plan
You can drop your Medicare Advantage plan and switch back to Original Medicare during the Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period (MADP), which runs from January 1 to February 14 each year.
In addition to the situations outlined above, you may also be able to add, change, or drop coverage under special circumstances that qualify you for a Special Enrollment Period. The following are a few examples of situations that could qualify you for a Special Enrollment Period:
- Change in address or living situation
- Losing current coverage
- Opportunity for other coverage
- Your current plan changes its contract with Medicare Medicare.gov provides details for each Special Enrollment Period.
MedicareAdvantage.com is a website owned and operated by TZ Insurance Solutions LLC. TZ Insurance Solutions LLC is a licensed and certified representative of A Medicare Advantage [HMO, PPO and PFFS] organization and a stand-alone prescription drug plan with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in any plan depends on contract renewal.
TZ Insurance Solutions LLC and the licensed sales agents that may call you are not connected with or endorsed by the U.S. Government or the federal Medicare program. This website does not contain a complete listing of plans available in your service area. For a complete listing please contact 1-800-MEDICARE (TTY users should call (877) 486-2048), 24 hours a day / 7 days a week or consult www.medicare.gov.
Not all plans or products are available in all markets. Additional plans may be available in your service area.
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Last Updated: 8/16/2016