Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period


If you’re unhappy with your current Medicare Advantage Plan, the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period (MAOEP) is an annual window to make changes to your existing plan. Often, we hear how beneficiaries decide to enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan without fully understanding how these plans work.*

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It happens when beneficiaries try to take on the task of enrolling in a plan without an agent. Sometimes, a beneficiary may have enlisted the help of an agent who didn’t have their clients’ best interest in mind.*

Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period

Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment PeriodThe Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period runs annually between January 1 and March 31. However, this is not the only enrollment period for Medicare Advantage plans. There are other Medicare Advantage Enrollment Periods you should understand.*

During this window, a current Medicare Advantage enrollee can:*

You can only make one change to your health care coverage during this time, so choose wisely. Once you make that change, you cannot make another change until the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period unless you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.*

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Who is Eligible for the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period?

This enrollment period is only for beneficiaries who currently have a Medicare Advantage plan and wish to make a change. This is not a time for new beneficiaries trying to enroll in Part A, Part B, or Part D. It is also not a time for those on Original Medicare to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan.

For those familiar with Medicare, you may remember this time as the Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period.*

When is My Effective Date Following the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period?

If you enroll in a policy during the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period, coverage starts on the first day of the month following the date of the new enrollment request. For example, requests in January become effective on February 1. Applications in February become effective March 1.*

Why Discontinuing the Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period Was a Bad Idea

The Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period ran annually between January 1 through February 14. The ACA legislation discontinued the Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period in 2010. The problem with discontinuing the Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period is that it forced beneficiaries to keep a plan they didn’t want, or that didn’t fit their health care needs, for an entire year. It was then replaced with the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period.*

Many times, beneficiaries are under the false assumption that their Medicare Advantage plan is the same as a Medicare Supplement plan. In reality, this is far from the truth.*

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There are many misconceptions about Medicare Advantage plans. Thus, it is important to ensure you are on the best plan to fit your needs. By utilizing the MAOEP you can be sure your Medicare Advantage plan is the right plan for you.*

FAQs

Who can change their plan during the MAOEP?
Only those who currently have a Medicare Advantage plan, or a Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug Plan may make changes during this time. Policyholders can switch to a new plan or drop their plan and return to Original Medicare. Keep in mind, you can only make one change during this time.
When is the MAOEP?
Each year, the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period runs from January 1 through March 31. These dates are the same year to year.
What is the difference between the Annual Enrollment Period and the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period?
The Annual Enrollment Period is the open enrollment window for all Medicare beneficiaries each fall. It runs from October 15 through December 7. During the Annual Enrollment Period, you can make changes to your Advantage or Part D coverage more than once, but the final enrollment is the one that takes effect on January 1.
Can I join a Medicare Advantage Plan during MAEOP if I have Original Medicare?
Beneficiaries are only able to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan if they are already on an Advantage plan during MAOEP. You are not eligible to switch from Original Medicare to an Advantage plan in this window. This can only be done during the Annual Enrollment Period.
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How to Get Help During the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period

Are you unhappy with your current coverage? Do you wonder if there is a better plan option available to you? If you're looking to change your current Medicare Advantage plan during the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period, give us a call or complete our online rate form to see rates for plans in your area.

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Jagger Esch

Jagger Esch is the Medicare expert for MedicareFAQ and the founder, president, and CEO of Elite Insurance Partners and MedicareFAQ.com. Since the inception of his first company in 2012, he has been dedicated to helping those eligible for Medicare by providing them with resources to educate themselves on all their Medicare options. He is featured in many publications as well as writes regularly for other expert columns regarding Medicare.

6 thoughts on “Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period

  1. Which Medicare program fits best when you also have VA coverage and travel throughout the year often away from home base.

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