The Annual Enrollment Period (AEP), sometimes referred to as the Open Election Period (OEP), is is from October 15th through December 7th each year. Any changes you make during this time will go into effect on January 1st of the next year. Your Medicare plan benefits and your needs can change on an annual basis, so use the AEP to compare your options or make changes to your Medicare Advantage or Prescription D plans.

During this time, you may switch from Original Medicare Part A and Part B to a Medicare Advantage plan. Or change back from a Medicare Advantage plan back to Original Medicare. You may also switch from one Medicare Advantage plan to another. You may also switch to a plan that offers drug coverage (MAPD) from a Medicare Advantage Plan. This is also a time to join a Prescription Drug Plan (PDP) or switch from one PDP to another.

Once the AEP is over, you can’t make changes to your Medicare plan until the next year. There are also Special Enrollment Periods (SEPs) when you can also make changes to your Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug plan. These SEPs happen when certain events happen in your life, like if you move or you lose other insurance coverage.

Note: Medicare Supplement Insurance plans are an exception. You can join or change from one plan to another at any time during the year, not just during AEP.