When Can You Enroll In, Switch, Or Cancel a Medicare Advantage Plan?

You can only enroll in, switch, or cancel a Medicare Advantage Plan at certain times:

  • When you first become eligible for Medicare (from three months before you turn 65 to three months after the month you turn 65)
  • If you get Medicare due to a disability, you can join during the three months before to three months after your 25th month of disability
  • Between November 15 to December 31 each year (your coverage will begin on January 1 of the following year)
  • Between January 1 to March 31 of each year

However, you can’t join or switch to a plan with prescription drug coverage during this time

unless you already have Medicare prescription drug coverage (Part D). You also can’t drop a plan with prescription drug coverage or join, switch, or cancel a Medicare Medical Savings Account Plan during this period.

In most cases, you must stay enrolled for that calendar year in your current Advantage plan starting on the date your coverage begins.

However, under certain circumstances you may be able to enroll in, switch, or cancel a Medicare Advantage Plan at other times. Some of these situations are:

  • If you move out of your Advantage plan’s service area
  • If you have both Medicare and Medicaid
  • If you qualify for “extra help” e.g. have limited income
  • If you live in an institution

To switch to a new Medicare Advantage Plan, simply enroll in the new plan during the period listed above. You will be dis-enrolled automatically from your old plan when your new plan’s coverage begins.