Medicare has many enrollment periods and rules about when you can enroll in a Part D plan or make changes to your coverage. Knowing this information is important so you can avoid enrollment penalties and lapses in coverage.
Use the chart below to see a summary of Medicare enrollment dates and determine when you can enroll in a plan.
|Enrollment period||What you can do||When you can do it|
|Initial enrollment period (IEP)||Enroll in a prescription drug plan, Medicare Advantage (MA) plan or MA plan with prescription drug coverage||Three months prior to, the month of, or three months after you turn 65. Or, after month 24 of receiving disability benefits.|
|Annual enrollment period (AEP)||Existing Medicare beneficiaries can enroll in or change to a prescription drug plan, Medicare Advantage (MA) plan or MA plan with prescription drug coverage||October 15 to December 7, annually (coverage effective January 1 of the following year)|
|Medicare Advantage open enrollment period (MA OEP)||Disenroll from a Medicare Advantage (MA) plan and enroll in another MA plan (with or without prescription drug coverage) or Original Medicare and, if needed, a stand-alone prescription drug plan||January 1 to March 31, annually (change effective the first of the month after you submit the request)|
|Special enrollment period (SEP)†||Enroll in a prescription drug plan or Medicare Advantage plan||If you qualify for an SEP, you can enroll after an IEP or AEP has ended.|
†Learn about the special circumstances that may make you eligible for an SEP at Medicare.gov.