Articles by our professionals >   About Medicare

How to Prepare for the Medicare Annual Election Period

It’s never too early to think about the kind of changes you may need to make in your Medicare coverage for next year. The Medicare Annual Election Period (AEP), also known as open enrollment, is from October 15 through December 7 each year.

What the Medicare Annual Election Period is for

On Medicare.com, you can find information about health insurance alternatives to Original Medicare provided by private insurance companies, including Medicare Advantage (Part C) plans, Medicare Part D plans, and Medicare Supplement plans. Say, for example, you need to enroll in or change one of these plans. The Medicare.com website features easy-to-access information on all options available during the Annual Election Period.

During the Annual Election Period, you can:

  • Switch from Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and B) to a Medicare Advantage plan
  • Switch from a Medicare Advantage plan back to Original Medicare
  • Switch to a different Medicare Advantage plan
  • Add, change, or drop a Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage plan

Making changes during Medicare open enrollment

Possible reasons for making changes include the following:

Can't find the answer you need?

Speak with a Licensed
Insurance Agent

844-847-2659

TTY users: 711 Mon - Fri, 8AM - 8PM EST

Trying to find the right plan?

Find a plan online, right now.

Find Your Plan Find out more
  • Your medical needs may have changed and you now require additional Medicare coverage or need to see a specialist–a Medicare Advantage plan may be a suitable choice for you.
  • Alternatively, your health conditions may have improved and you don’t need additional benefits–it might be appropriate for you to switch back to Original Medicare to avoid paying for what you’re not using.
  • Your drug circumstances have changed and you’re now taking regular prescriptions–you might want to add a Part D plan or change to one that better suits your needs.

If you make any changes during the Medicare Annual Election Period (AEP), or open enrollment, your new Medicare coverage takes effect January 1 of the following year.

Stay on top of your Medicare needs with Medicare.com

It can be wise to evaluate your current health plan coverage during the year, as you use it, and use Medicare.com to help determine the right Medicare coverage options for you. Our licensed agents are glad to help you make your Medicare elections. As always, there are no additional costs to you for using Medicare.com’s website or licensed agency services. Just contact our licensed agents when you’re ready.

Medicare has neither reviewed nor endorsed this information.

Was this article helpful?