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The 2022 Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period

Posted on December 14, 2021 by Kyle Walton

What is the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period?

As a government-regulated health insurance plan designed specifically for older or disabled Americans, Medicare can be an incredible foundation for ensuring that your healthcare needs are met. 

Unfortunately, however, Original Medicare doesn’t always provide the level of coverage you may require for your health and lifestyle. Luckily, there is Medicare Advantage, or Medicare Part C, which can allow Medicare beneficiaries to acquire a more comprehensive level of coverage that may better fit their healthcare needs.

There are a plethora of unique Medicare Advantage plans available to seniors and certain disabled individuals, but because these plans are offered by private insurance companies, their pricing, exact benefits, and availability can vary.

Often, many Original Medicare beneficiaries feel that changing to a more desirable Medicare Advantage plan would be more favorable to them when considering their healthcare needs, their financial situation, or accessibility. The Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period is the ideal time to make this change.

When is Open Enrollment for Medicare Advantage?

The Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period (OEP) occurs annually from January 1st through March 31st at the start of each year. During this time, you are able to freely explore, research, and compare Medicare Advantage plans and enroll in a new plan if need be. Outside of certain Special Enrollment Period circumstances, this is the only time of year during which you can freely switch to a new Medicare Advantage plan.

Once you have successfully enrolled in a new Medicare Advantage plan during Medicare Advantage OEP, your coverage will begin the first day of the month after you ask to join the plan.

Please Note: If you enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan during your Initial Enrollment Period, you can change to another Medicare Advantage Plan (with or without drug coverage) or go back to Original Medicare (with or without a drug plan) within the first 3 months you have Medicare.

What can you do during Open Enrollment for Medicare Advantage?

The Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period is specifically designed for those who are currently enrolled in Medicare Advantage. It is the primary time of year when you will be able to switch to another Medicare Advantage plan (with or without drug coverage). During Medicare Advantage OEP, you may only switch your plan once.

In addition, you can also drop your current Medicare Advantage plan and return to Original Medicare at this time. If you decide to do so, you will have the opportunity to enroll in a standalone Medicare drug plan (Medicare Part D) if you so desire.

What can’t you do during Open Enrollment For Medicare Advantage?

In an effort to maintain government regulations and protect the interests of everyone involved, there are certain actions that cannot be taken during the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period.

During Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment, you will be unable to do the following:

  • Switch from Original Medicare coverage to a Medicare Advantage plan for the first time
  • Join a Medicare drug plan if you only ever had Original Medicare Parts A and B
  • Switch from one Medicare drug plan to another if you only have Original Medicare Parts A and B

Ready to learn more about your options for Medicare Advantage Enrollment?

The licensed insurance agents at MedicareInsurance.com are incredibly adept at helping you find the Medicare Advantage coverage that works for you. 

During Medicare Advantage OEP, our agents are more than ready to assist you in researching and comparing your options when it comes to enrolling in more comprehensive Medicare Advantage coverage.

About the Author

Kyle Walton

Kyle is a professional writer with several years of experience helping to inform the public on many diverse topics and industries, including healthcare. He is a Kutztown University graduate, Class of 2017.

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