Frequently Asked Question of the Month – What are the Enrollment Periods Associated with Medicare?

Answering questions is a big part of my job. Many people on Medicare have the same general questions. In this section, I answer a question that I’ve recently been asked, for everyone’s benefit:

What are the enrollment periods for the various types of Medicare plans?

This is a very common question that can be easily answered; however, there is a lot of misinformation out about this (through other agents) and just through misconceptions. The easiest way to look at it is to break it down by type of plan:

Medicare Supplement (Medigap): There are NO set enrollment periods. You can enroll/disenroll at any time, as long as you have Medicare A & B.

Medicare Advantage:
Medicare Advantage has a set enrollment period of Nov. 15-Dec. 31 each year. Then, you can also make some changes between Jan. 1-Mar. 31 (some restrictions apply – each case is different).

Part D: Part D is the same as Medicare Advantage. The annual enrollment period is Nov. 15-Dec. 31 then there is an additional enrollment period Jan 1-Mar. 31. During that additional period, you can neither drop or add coverage, only switch Part D plans.