If you are turning 65 and will be eligible for Medicare for the first time, you have seven months to enroll in Medicare Parts A and B. This time frame 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.
If you are over 65 and planning to retire soon, you have eight months to enroll in Medicare Parts A and B. This time frame usually starts the month after your employment ends.
If you currently get your health care benefits through your employer, make sure to talk to your employer. Your employer can help you understand what you need to do before you retire.
If you are already enrolled in Medicare, there are only certain times of the year when you can change your Medicare Advantage coverage.
Medicare Advantage Enrollment Timeline
|Annual Election Period:
Oct. 15 – Dec. 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:
Jan. 1 – Mar. 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.
Apr. 1 – Oct. 14
Dec. 8 – Dec. 31
|You cannot make a plan change after March 31 unless you qualify for a Special Election Period (SEP) or have Medical Assistance coverage.