(Medicare A+B is also known as Original Medicare)
(a Prescription Drug Plan is also known as a Part D Plan)

If you are unhappy with your plan benefits or the price of your premium, there are options available to you.

During the Annual Election Period (AEP)*, you can:

  • Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage Plan** (also known as a Part C or MA Plan)
  • Switch to a different Prescription Drug Plan*** (also known as Part D Plan)
  • Drop your Prescription Drug Plan completely (exclusions apply)

*If you have been on Medicare plan due to a disability and you are turning 65, these options are also available to you during your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP).

**If you only have Medicare Part A, you must first enroll in Medicare Part B in order to be eligible for a Medicare Advantage Plan.

***If you qualify for Extra Help for your Prescription Drug Plan (also known as a Part D Plan), you can join, switch or drop your Prescription Drug Plan any time.

During the Medigap Open Enrollment Period, you may enroll in a Medigap Plan.

Annual Election Period (AEP)

The Annual Election Period (AEP) is from October 15th – December 7th every year.

Changes to Medicare plans made during this time will take effect on January 1st of the following year. For example, changes made in November of 2019 will take place January 1st of 2020.

Initial Enrollment Period (IEP)

The first time you can enroll is called your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP), which is a 7-month time frame. It begins 3 months before the month you turn 65, includes the month you turn 65, and ends 3 months after the month you turn 65. For example, if you’re 65th birthday was in the month of May, you would be eligible to enroll February 1 – August 31st.


Medigap plans, also called Medicare Supplement Plans, provide extra insurance that help you pay your Medicare Parts A and B out-of-pocket costs, which are “gaps” in medical coverage.

Medigap Open Enrollment Period

The Medigap Open Enrollment Period is a one-time 6-month period. This time frame begins the first month of your Medicare Part B coverage. Some states may have additional Open Enrollment rights under state law.

If you apply for a Medigap plan during this time, you are guaranteed acceptance and the plan can’t charge more based on your health conditions. To enroll in a Medigap plan, you must first be enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B.

Extra Help

The “Extra Help” program can help individuals with limited income pay costs of a Prescription Drug Plan, also known as Medicare Part D. These costs can include premiums, deductibles, and coinsurance.

Medicare Advantage Plan

Private carriers offer Part C plans, also known as Medicare Advantage Plans, which offer all the benefits covered under Original Medicare (parts A and B) and more.