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.
Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period:
January 1 – February 14
You can disenroll from a Medicare Advantage plan. You will be on Original Medicare and can join a prescription drug plan. Your coverage will be effective the first of the month following your disenrollment request.
Lock-in Period:
February 15 – December 31
You cannot make a plan change after February 14 unless you qualify for a Special Election Period (SEP) or have Medical Assistance coverage.
This information is not a complete description of benefits. Contact the plan for more information. Limitations, copayments, and restrictions may apply. Benefits, premium, and/or copayments/coinsurance may change on January 1 of each year. The formulary, pharmacy network, and/or provider network may change at any time. You will receive notice when necessary. Out-of-network/non-contracted providers are under no obligation to treat UPMC for Life members, except in emergency situations. For a decision about whether we will cover an out-of-network service, we encourage you or your provider to ask us for a pre-service organization determination before you receive the service. 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.

The UPMC for Life Medicare Advantage HMO and PPO plans are available to persons entitled to Medicare Part A and enrolled in Part B. You must continue to pay your Medicare Part B premium, reside in the service area, and not have end-stage renal disease (ESRD).

This information is available for free in other languages. Please call our customer service number at 1-877-539-3080 (TTY: 1-800-361-2629). We are available October 1 through February 14, seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. From February 15 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 and PPO plans. 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., and UPMC Health Benefits Inc.

The Silver&Fit program is a product of American Specialty Health Fitness, Inc., (ASH Fitness), a subsidiary of American Specialty Health Incorporated (ASH). All programs and services are not available in all areas. Silver&Fit® is a federally registered trademark of ASH and used with permission herein.

*Our hours of operation change twice a year.

You can call us:

October 1 through February 14:
seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

February 15 through September 30:
Monday through Friday: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Saturday: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Y0069_18_1122 Approved

Last Updated: 10/01/2017
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