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Unhappy with Medicare Coverage: When can I change my Medicare plan?

An older couple are unhappy with their current Medicare coverage and wondering when they are able to change their plan.

Let’s say you went through all the trouble of enrolling in a Medicare plan to find out your doctor isn’t in your network after all. So what now? Oftentimes, the easiest way to change your Medicare plan is to do so during the Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plan Annual Enrollment Period. However, the next Annual Enrollment Period might not be for a few months so it’s helpful to know if you have other options. Here’s a guide to changing your Medicare plan if you’re unhappy with your current coverage. 

What to Do if You Missed Medicare Annual Enrollment Period

If you miss the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period, there are a few circumstances in which you are allowed to change your coverage. Each year, there are five set times you can enroll in Medicare or change existing Medicare plans:

  • Medicare Initial Enrollment Period (IEP): This period begins three months before the month of a person’s 65th birthday and continues through the three months following a person’s 65th birthday.
  • Medicare General Enrollment Period (GEP): The General Enrollment Period runs January 1-March 31 each year and provides an enrollment opportunity for individuals who didn’t sign up for Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) when they were first eligible.
  • Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP): Current Medicare recipients can change or enroll in Medicare Advantage coverage during this period that runs October 15-December 7 each year.
  • Medicare Special Enrollment Period (SEP): Certain life events can lead to an individual being eligible to enroll in Original Medicare or enrolling/changing Medicare Advantage coverage.
  • Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period (OEP): This period runs from January 1-March 31 and allows beneficiaries enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan or Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plan to make a one-time change.

When can I change my Medicare Supplement Insurance plan?

There are limited circumstances in which you can change your Medicare Supplement plan, also known as Medigap. If you’re still within your Initial Enrollment Period (three months before and three months after your birth month), you have the option to switch your coverage. The only other opportunity, beyond enrollment periods, is if you’re eligible under a specific circumstance or guaranteed issue rights.1

When can I change my Medicare Part D plan?

In most cases, you can only make changes to your Medicare Part D coverage during the Annual Enrollment Period. If you have a Medicare Advantage plan, however, you can make changes to your Part D coverage during the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period, which runs from January 1 to March 31 each year. You can also sign up for Part D coverage during this period if you’re switching from a Medicare Advantage plan back to Original Medicare (Parts A and B). 

How to Change Medicare Plans During a Medicare Enrollment Period

If you are eligible to change your Medicare plan during one of the Medicare enrollment periods, SelectQuote can help you do so. We can help you understand your options for coverage and find a plan that includes the benefits you need at a price that fits your budget. 

Want to switch Medicare plans? Let SelectQuote compare Medicare plans for you.

If you need help understanding your enrollment and coverage options, save yourself time and the hassle of navigating the Medicare maze on your own. In just minutes, we can compare Medicare plans available to you from some of the most trusted insurance companies in the nation. We’ll make sure you have the Medicare coverage you need and the benefits you deserve at the right price for you.

1 https://www.medicare.gov/supplements-other-insurance/when-can-i-buy-medigap/switching-medigap-policies

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