Every year, some Medicare Advantage plans may leave the Medicare program by Dec. 31. You should receive a letter from the plan by Oct. 2 explaining your options.
When can I join a new plan?
The three most common Medicare Advantage plan enrollment periods are the:
- Initial Coverage Enrollment Period when you first join Medicare Parts A and B.
- Annual Enrollment Period, Oct. 15 - Dec. 7.
- Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period, Jan. 1 - March 31 each year.
In addition to these three enrollment periods, because your plan is leaving Medicare, you also get a Special Enrollment Period in which you have two options:
- Join a different Medicare Advantage plan from Dec. 8 to the last day of February.
- Join a new Medicare Part D stand-alone plan (PDF, 193KB) from Dec. 8 to the last day of February (this automatically enrolls you in Original Medicare). This also allows you to enroll in a Medigap (Medicare Supplement) plan (PDF, 219KB) within 63 days after your Medicare Advantage plan ends. The company offering the Medigap plan must take you if you choose a B-N plan and you don't have to take a health screen. Note: If you're under age 65 on Medicare due to disability, you might not be able to get a Medigap.
Whichever option you choose, your new plan starts the first day of the month after you switch. To avoid a coverage gap you should sign up with a new plan before Dec. 31.