Medicare Basics

Medicare Enrollment Timeline

New to Medicare?

You have an Initial Coverage Election Period. You have seven months to enroll in Medicare Parts A and B. This timeframe includes:

  • Three months before the month of your 65th birthday
  • The month of your 65th birthday
  • Three months after the month of your 65th birthday

Initial enrollment period graphic

Contact the Social Security Administration to sign up for Original Medicare. Call toll-free 1-800-772-1213 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. TTY users should call 1-800-325-0778.

New to Medicare Enrollment Timeline
6 months before birthday Start doing research on Medicare Advantage plans. Research which companies offer Medicare coverage in your area. Decide what type of plan will best meet your health care needs.
5 months before birthday Attend an informational seminar about Medicare. You'll learn about what Original Medicare covers, types of Medicare Advantage plans, and get information on Medicare Part D.
3 months before birthday Sign up for Original Medicare. Enroll in Original Medicare Parts A and B.
Sign up for Medicare Advantage coverage. Make sure you apply for enrollment three months before your birthday. This ensures you don't have a gap in health care coverage.
3 months after birthday Last month you can enroll in Original Medicare.

Already on Medicare?

You can change your Medicare Advantage coverage only during certain times of the year.

Medicare Advantage Enrollment Timeline
Annual Election Period:
October 15 – December 7
You can add or drop Part D prescription drug coverage during this time. You can also change to a Medicare Advantage plan or to Original Medicare. Your coverage will be effective January 1.
Open Enrollment Period:
January 1 – March 31
You can make ONE change to your current Medicare coverage. You can add or drop Part D prescription drug coverage, change to a Medicare Advantage plan or to Original Medicare. Your coverage will be effective the first of the next month.
Lock-in Period:
April 1 – December 31
You cannot make a plan change after March 31 unless you qualify for a Special Election Period (SEP) or have Medical Assistance coverage.
This information is not a complete description of benefits. Call 1-866-405-8762 (TTY: 711) for more information. Out-of-network/non-contracted providers are under no obligation to treat UPMC for Life members, except in emergency situations. Please call our customer service number or see your Evidence of Coverage for more information, including the cost-sharing that applies to out-of-network services. Other physicians/providers are available in the UPMC for Life network.

This information is available for free in other languages. Please call our customer service number at 1-877-539-3080 (TTY: 711). We are available October 1 through March 31, seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. From April 1 through September 30, we are available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

UPMC for Life has a contract with Medicare to provide HMO, HMO SNP, and PPO plans. The HMO SNP plan has a contract with the PA State Medical Assistance program. Enrollment in UPMC for Life depends on contract renewal. UPMC for Life is a product of and operated by UPMC Health Plan Inc., UPMC Health Network Inc., UPMC Health Benefits Inc., and UPMC for You Inc.

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*Our hours of operation change twice a year.

You can call us:

October 1 through March 31:
seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

April 1 through September 30:
Monday through Friday: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Saturday: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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Last Updated: 10/01/2018
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