Medicare Open Enrollment

The U.S. Medicare Handbook is photographed in Washington, D.C.
In this Nov. 8, 2018, file photo, the U.S. Medicare Handbook is photographed in Washington, D.C. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP Photo)

Each year's Medicare open enrollment period runs from Oct. 15 through Dec. 7.

During the open enrollment period, you can make changes to various aspects of your coverage.

  • You can switch from Original Medicare to Medicare Advantage, or vice versa.
  • You can also switch from one Medicare Advantage plan to another, or from one Medicare Part D (prescription drug) plan to another.
  • And if you didn’t enroll in a Medicare Part D plan when you were first eligible, you can do so during the general open enrollment, although a late enrollment penalty may apply.

If you want to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, you must meet some basic criteria.

  • You must be enrolled in Medicare Part A and B.
  • You must live in the plan’s service area.

If you’re already enrolled in a Medicare Part D prescription plan or a Medicare Advantage Plan and you don’t want to make changes to your coverage for the coming year, you don’t need to do anything. If your plan is being discontinued and isn’t eligible for renewal, you will receive notification from your carrier that you must change plans. 

Details About Medicare

More details about the different types of Medicare and the monthly premiums and coverages.

Medicare and Tricare

If you have Tricare, you generally must enroll in Part A and Part B when you're first eligible to keep your Tricare coverage. For more information about Tricare and Medicare Part D, see our Medicare Part D and Tricare page.

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