| Thu, Oct 13, 2016 @ 09:00 AM

Medicare Open Enrollment Starts October 15

Posted by Medicare Made Clear

changing-medicare-plansMedicare Open Enrollment is your chance to change your Medicare coverage choices for the coming year if you choose to. It starts on October 15 and runs through December 7. Changes go into effect on January 1.

It’s tempting to keep the same Medicare coverage year after year without questioning it. Your current Medicare coverage renews automatically unless you actively make a change.

However, you have many Medicare coverage options. And Medicare plans may change plan benefits from year to year.

Do You Have the Coverage You Need?

It’s in your best interest to review your current Medicare coverage and to understand any plan changes that may go into effect next year. Your Medicare Advantage (Part C) or prescription drug (Part D) plan must notify you of changes by providing an Annual Notice of Change (ANOC), which usually arrives in September each year.

You want to make sure that you have Medicare coverage that fits with your needs going forward. Will your current coverage still work for you? Maybe. But you won’t know for sure unless you ask the question.

How to Use Medicare Open Enrollment

Here’s what you can do during open enrollment:

  • Change from Original Medicare (Parts A and B) to a Medicare Advantage (Part C) plan or vice versa.
  • Switch from one Medicare Advantage plan to a different Medicare Advantage plan.
  • Switch from one standalone Medicare prescription drug plan to a different Medicare prescription drug plan.
  • Join a Medicare prescription drug plan or drop your Medicare prescription drug coverage completely. Keep in mind that if you drop your drug coverage, you may have to pay more to get it back later.

You may want to consider adding a prescription drug (Part D) plan and a Medicare supplement insurance plan if you go back to Original Medicare.


If you are confident your current coverage will continue to work for you next year, then that’s great. But take the time to look at your plan materials to make sure before you let Medicare Open Enrollment pass by.

Related Content

Medicare Plan Changes: What to Look For

Concrete Answers to 10 Common Medicare Questions


For more information, explore MedicareMadeClear.com or contact the Medicare helpline 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227), TTY 1-877-486-2048.

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