Medicare health and drug plans can make changes each year—things like cost, coverage, and what providers and pharmacies are in their networks. October 15 to December 7 is when all people with Medicare can change their Medicare health plans and prescription drug coverage for the following year to better meet their needs.
Medicare Enrollment Dates
The 2023 Medicare Open Enrollment, like every year, begins October 15, 2022, and ends on December 7, 2022.
Key Medicare OEP Dates
If you choose not to sign up for a Medicare Advantage plan or stand-alone Medicare prescription drug coverage during your Initial Enrollment Period, you can also enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan during the annual Fall Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP).
AEP is also called the Medicare Annual Election Period and the Open Enrollment Period for Medicare Advantage and Medicare prescription drug coverage.
This period runs from October 15 to December 7 every year.
During the Fall Medicare Open Enrollment Period for Medicare Advantage and Medicare prescription drug coverage, you can:
- Enroll in, make changes to or disenroll from a Medicare Advantage plan (Medicare Part C)
- Enroll in, make changes to or disenroll from a Medicare Prescription Drug plan (Medicare Part D)
Plan changes you make during the Medicare Fall Annual Enrollment Period go into effect January 2023.
Special Enrollment Periods (SEPs)
Depending on your circumstances, you may also qualify for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP).
Medicare Special Enrollment Periods can happen at any time during the year. You may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period for a number of reasons, which can include:
- You moved to a new area that is outside of your current Medicare Advantage plan’s service area
- You left your employer coverage
- Medicare ended your current Medicare Advantage plan’s contract
Do I Have to Renew Medicare Each Year?
Unless you take action to change it during the Annual Enrollment Period, your current Medicare coverage will renew for the following year. Automatic renewal helps ensure that you will have continuing coverage. It works the same whether you have Original Medicare (Parts A and B), a Medicare Advantage plan (Part C) or a Medicare prescription drug plan (Part D). You simply do nothing and your current coverage choices stay in place for another year.
How to Change Medicare Plans During OEP
If you decide you want to change plans, there are three options to do so:
(1) work with the insurance provider directly,
(2) work with an insurance agent, or
(3) contact Medicare.
Medicare Open Enrollment Guidelines
The Medicare Annual Enrollment Period runs October 15 through December 7. This is the only time each year anyone with Medicare coverage can make changes (outside of some special periods just for Medicare Advantage and Part D beneficiaries).
Automatic renewal is a great way to go if you feel confident that the coverage you already have will fit your needs going forward. It’s easy and convenient – but once open enrollment is over on December 7, your chance to change your Medicare coverage for next year is over, too, unless you move or otherwise qualify for a special exception.
Medicare Open Enrollment Options 2023
Your options for Medicare Open Enrollment in 2023 are to stay with your current plan and change plans. You can also choose between Medicare Original or Medicare Advantage, and remember to pay attention to important deadlines for enrollment.
Medicare Advantage OEP 2023
From January 1 – March 31 each year, if you’re enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan, you can switch to a different Medicare Advantage Plan or switch to Original Medicare (and join a separate Medicare drug plan) once during this time.
Note: You can only switch plans once during this period.
Medicare Part D OEP
The first opportunity for Medicare Part D sign up is when you’re initially eligible for Medicare – during the seven-month period beginning three months before the month you turn 65, or during the seven-month period beginning three months before your 25th month of disability.
Medigap Open Enrollment Period (MOEP)
If you have Original Medicare and would like to enroll in a Medicare Supplement Insurance plan (also called Medigap), the best time to sign up is during your six-month Medigap Open Enrollment Period.
- Your Medigap Open Enrollment Period starts as soon as you are age 65 or older and are enrolled in Medicare Part B.
- Insurance companies cannot deny you Medigap coverage or charge you a higher fee for pre-existing health conditions if you apply for Medicare Supplement Insurance during your Medigap Open Enrollment Period.
If you don’t sign up for a Medigap plan during your Medigap Open Enrollment Period, you may still be able to buy one at any time.
Insurance companies can take your health into consideration when setting your premiums or deciding whether or not to offer you coverage, however.
You must be enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B in order to buy a Medigap plan. Medigap and Medicare Advantage plans are very different, and you cannot be enrolled in a Medigap plan and a Medicare Advantage plan at the same time.
Enrolling in Original Medicare
Whether you are signing up for Original Medicare, a Medicare Advantage plan or other Medicare coverage options, you can get started enrolling today.
You can sign up for Medicare one of four ways:
- Apply online on the Social Security website
- Visit your local Social Security office
- Call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY: 1-800-325-0778)
- If you worked for a railroad, call the Railroad Retirement Board at 1-877-772-5772