Medicare Advantage Enrollment Eligibility

The Medicare Advantage Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) is open from October 15 through December 7 every year. Special circumstances may allow you to enroll before or after the Annual Enrollment Period.


Pre-Enrollment – October 1 – October 14

Make an informed decision about your health plan—evaluate your options and costs before the Annual Enrollment Period.


Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) – October 15 – December 7

During the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP), you can join, switch, or drop a Medicare Advantage plan or Medicare drug plan. If you enroll in or make changes to your plan during AEP, changes and new benefits will take effect on January 1, as long as your request is received by December 7.

Special circumstances may allow you to make changes or enroll outside of AEP to begin coverage earlier than January 1. These circumstances are called your Initial Coverage Election or a Special Enrollment Period.


Initial Coverage Election

If you are newly eligible for Medicare, this is known as an Initial Coverage Election Period (ICEP), and it allows you to enroll and begin coverage earlier than January 1 of the next year. The most common way to qualify for a ICEP is by turning 65.


Special Enrollment Periods

The following are examples of special circumstances that would qualify you for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP), allowing you to enroll, leave, or change Medicare plans:

  • You are eligible for Medicare and Medicaid
  • You receive Extra Help from the government towards drug costs
  • You move in or out of a Select Health Medicare service area
  • You lose employer-sponsored group health coverage
  • You live in a long-term care facility

See a full list of special circumstances that may qualify you for a Special Enrollment Period on our Enrollment Form.


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Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period

Not satisfied with the plan you chose during the Annual Enrollment Period? Don’t worry—beginning January 1 through March 31, you can make a one-time election to disenroll from the Medicare Advantage plan you chose during AEP and enroll in a different Advantage plan or Original Medicare without any penalties. If you decide to change plans again after March 31, you will have to wait until the next Annual Enrollment Period.