If you’re moving to a new home and Medicare coverage isn’t at the top of your list, it should be. If you’re moving within your plan’s service area, you can keep your plan. You can find out whether your new home is in your current plan’s service area by calling your plan’s customer service number. If you’re moving to a location outside of your Medicare Advantage (Part C) plan’s or Part D plan’s service area or if you’re moving to an area covered by your plan but more plans are available to you in your new area, you will need to make some changes. The time period in which you can make changes is called your Special Enrollment Period (SEP). During your SEP, you can make the following changes:
The Medicare OEP, or Open Enrollment Period, runs from October 15 through December 7 each year. (It’s sometimes also referred to as the “AEP,” or “Annual Enrollment Period.”) During this time, you can take a look at changes to your current plan for the coming year, and see whether there are other choices that might better meet your coverage needs.
Let’s assume you’ve assessed your needs, done your research and decided to join a Medicare Advantage (Part C) plan. Your next question might be: “When can I enroll?” There are two standard enrollment periods: the Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) for those who are new to Medicare and the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) for those who are already Medicare beneficiaries. There is also a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) for individuals with qualifying exceptions that allows them to enroll in a plan outside the standard enrollment periods.