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Enrollment Periods

Blue Medicare Advantage HMO and PPO Logo

There are three enrollment periods.

Annual Enrollment Period (AEP)*:

Between October 15 and December 7, anyone can join, switch or drop a Medicare Advantage Plan. Your coverage will begin on January 1, as long as the plan gets your request by December 7.

Making changes to your coverage after December 7:

Between January 1 and February 14, if you're in a Medicare Advantage Plan, you can leave your plan and switch to Original Medicare. If you switch to Original Medicare during this time, you'll have until February 14 to also join a Medicare prescription drug plan. Your coverage will begin the first day of the month after the plan gets your enrollment form.

During this period, you can't do the following:

  • Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage Plan
  • Switch from one Medicare Advantage Plan to another
  • Join, switch or drop a Medicare Medical Savings Account Plan

Initial Enrollment Period (IEP):

When you first become eligible for Medicare, you can join during the 7 month period that 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.

Initial Enrollment Period Calendar for 3 months prior and 3 months after the 65th birthday

Special Enrollment Periods (SEP)

In most cases, you must stay enrolled for the calendar year starting the date your coverage begins. However, in certain situations, you may be able to join, switch or drop a Medicare Advantage Plan during a special enrollment period. Contact your plan if any of these situations apply to you:

  • Moving outside of the plan's approved service area
  • Entering or leaving a qualified institution, such as a nursing home
  • Becoming eligible for low income subsidy assistance
  • Becoming enrolled in Medicaid

Contact your plan if any of these situations apply to you.

For more information, refer to the Medicare and You Handbook.

*Dates subject to change after January 1, 2018.