Changing Medicare Advantage Plans

You can join, switch, or drop a Medicare Advantage Plan:

  • When you first become eligible for Medicare (3 months before you turn age 65 to 3 months after the month you turn age 65).
  • If you get Medicare due to a disability, you can join during the 3 months before to 3 months after your 25th month of disability benefits.
  • From November 15 - December 31 each year. Your coverage will begin on January 1 of the following year.
  • From January 1 - March 31 of each year. However, you can't add or change to a plan with prescription drug coverage during this time unless you already have Medicare prescription drug coverage.

In certain situations, you may be able to join, switch, or drop Medicare Advantage Plans at other times (like if you move out of the service area, have both Medicare and Medicaid, or live in an institution).

Involuntary Disenrollment

Medicare Advantage plans can drop you at the end of the plan year if the plan does not renew its contract with Medicare. A plan that does not renew its contract with Medicare may decide to drop select geographic areas of service, or it may decide to nonrenew the entire plan. A plan may involuntarily disenroll you for failure to pay premiums timely, for causing a disruption in the plan's ability to deliver health care services, or if it cannot meet your medical needs. If you are involuntarily disenrolled, you are automatically returned to coverage under original Medicare at the beginning of the month following your involuntary disenrollment.

If you are involuntarily disenrolled from Medicare Advantage because the Medicare Advantage plan nonrenews its plan, you have the right to apply for a Medicare supplement policy, as long as you do so within 63 days of notice of the nonrenewal.

If you voluntarily disenroll because you decide a Medicare Advantage plan is not right for you, you may have a right to Medicare supplement coverage as long as you have not been covered by a Medicare Advantage plan before and you disenroll from the Medicare Advantage plan within 12 months of your enrollment. This right is limited to the same Medicare supplement in which you were most recently previously enrolled, excluding any outpatient prescription drug coverage. If you do not have a right to get your same Medicare supplement coverage back, you will have to complete the medical questions on an application for Medicare supplement and the insurance company can deny your application.