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Can I Change Medicare Advantage Plans Anytime

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If you’re not satisfied with your Medicare Advantage plan, there are opportunities to change it. You can generally only change Medicare Advantage plans during certain enrollment periods.

Can I change Medicare Advantage plans anytime during my Initial Enrollment Period?

The first time you may be eligible to sign up for a Medicare Advantage plan may be during your Initial Enrollment Period. During this period, you can both enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan and switch from one plan to another. Maybe you first sign up for a plan that seems attractive but then decide you want the same coverage your spouse has. You can change Medicare Advantage plans anytime during your Initial Enrollment Period.

If you qualify for Medicare by age, your Initial Enrollment Period starts 3 months before the month you turn 65, includes the month you turn 65, and ends 3 months after the month you turn 65. If you qualify for Medicare through disability, this period starts 3 months before your 25th month of getting Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board benefits, includes the 25th month of getting disability and ends 3 months after your 25th month of getting disability benefits.

Can I change Medicare Advantage plans anytime during the Medicare Open Enrollment Period?

The Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period is October 15 through December 7 each year. During this period you can switch from a Medicare Advantage plan to another Medicare Advantage plan or switch from a Medicare Advantage plan back to Original Medicare. There is generally no limit on how many times you can switch Medicare Advantage plans if you do it during the Medicare Open Enrollment Period.

Can I change Medicare Advantage plans anytime during my Special Enrollment Period?

Outside of the Medicare Open Enrollment Period, you may be able to change your Medicare Advantage plan during a Special Enrollment Period (SEP). Usually you’ll be granted a SEP if you move or lose other insurance coverage. Life events that may qualify you for a Special Enrollment Period include:

  • You move to an address that is outside your plan’s service area
  • You move to an address that has new plan options
  • You move into a skilled nursing facility or long-term care facility
  • Medicare terminates your plan

Why would I want to change Medicare Advantage plans?  

There could be many reasons to change Medicare Advantage plans. For example:

  • You are facing an expensive surgery and you want a plan with a lower out of pocket maximum so you’ll have lower out of pocket costs.
  • You are spending a lot on dental services and you want more comprehensive dental benefits.
  • You don’t use many medical services so you want very basic coverage with the lowest premiums possible.
  • Your current Medicare Advantage plan is a PPO (Preferred Provider Organization) and you would prefer an HMO (Health Maintenance Organization).
  • You are taking an expensive prescription drug and you want a plan with lower copayments for prescription drugs.

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