Medicare open enrollment for 2024 goes from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7, 2023.
During the Medicare open enrollment period, you can make changes to your Medicare health and drug coverage. These changes will take effect on Jan. 1, 2024.
Keep reading to learn about the changes you can make to Medicare plans during open enrollment.
Also in this article
When is the Medicare annual enrollment period for 2024?
The 2024 Medicare annual enrollment period, or AEP, runs from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7, 2023. These are the same dates as the Medicare open enrollment period.
There’s a good reason for the overlap in dates. The annual enrollment period for Medicare and Medicare open enrollment are the same thing.
You may have heard or read that there are other Medicare enrollment periods with different deadlines. It’s true. Besides the annual election period, you’ve got:
- Initial enrollment period
- General enrollment period
- Special enrollment period
Here are the dates for these Medicare enrollment periods and what you can do during them.
Medicare initial enrollment period
The initial enrollment period, or IEP, is when you first become eligible for Medicare coverage. It is a seven-month window around your 65th birthday. During this time, you can sign up for Original Medicare, or Medicare Part A and Part B.
Medicare general enrollment period
The general enrollment period is for people who:
- Didn’t sign up for Medicare Parts A or B during their IEP
- Aren’t eligible for a special enrollment period
It goes from Jan. 1 to March 31 every year — not just for 2024.
Medicare special enrollment period
You only qualify for a Medicare special enrollment period if you missed your IEP because you were still covered by a group health plan through your own or your spouse's job. (Or through a family member's job, if you have a disability.) You can sign up for Original Medicare coverage within this eight-month window, which starts:
- The month after your employment, or the employment of your spouse or family member, ends
- The month after the group health plan tied to that job ends
When does Medicare open enrollment end?
Medicare open enrollment for 2024 ends on Dec. 7, 2023.
After that, you either need to qualify for a special enrollment period or wait until the next open enrollment period to make changes to your Medicare plan.
What changes can you make during Medicare open enrollment?
During Medicare open enrollment, you can review your existing coverage and make changes to it. Also, this is when you can switch from:
- Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan
- A Medicare Advantage plan to Original Medicare
- One Medicare Advantage plan to another
- One Medicare Part D drug plan to another
You can do the following during the Medicare open enrollment period as well:
- Join a Part D drug plan
- Drop your Part D coverage
When is the Medicare Advantage open enrollment period for 2024?
There are two open enrollment periods that allow you to make changes to your Medicare Advantage plan for 2024.
From Oct. 15 to Dec. 7, 2023, you can change from:
- Original Medicare to Medicare Advantage
- Medicare Advantage to Original Medicare
You can also switch from one Medicare Advantage plan to another during this enrollment window.
If you’re in Original Medicare, you can join a Part D plan now, too. Or you can switch from one Part D plan to another.
From Jan. 1 to March 31, 2024, you can switch from:
- One Medicare Advantage plan to another
- A Medicare Advantage plan back to Original Medicare
One change you can’t make during this open enrollment period is to go from Original Medicare to Medicare Advantage coverage.
When is the Medicare Part D open enrollment period for 2024?
The open enrollment period for Medicare Part D coverage runs from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7 every year. Between those dates, you can:
- Enroll in a Part D plan
- Switch from one drug plan to another
- Drop your Medicare prescription drug coverage
When is the Medicare Supplement open enrollment period for 2024?
There are no yearly open enrollment periods or deadlines for Medicare Supplement plans like there are for other kinds of Medicare coverage.
Instead, you can buy or change MedSup or Medigap policies any time you want. Most people do so during a six-month Medigap open enrollment period, though. This period starts the same month you enroll in Medicare Part B.
If you wait until after your Medigap open enrollment period to buy or change this type of coverage, you may not be able to find an insurance company that will sell it to you. And even if you do, you might pay a lot more for it.
What happens if you miss Medicare open enrollment?
If you miss the Medicare open enrollment period for 2024, you may still be able to make changes to your coverage through a special enrollment period.
What if you don’t qualify for a special enrollment period? You’ll need to wait for the next general enrollment or open enrollment period to make changes to your Medicare plan.
Do you have to enroll in Medicare every year?
You don’t have to enroll in Medicare every year. You also don’t have to renew your Medicare plan each year.
This is true if you’re enrolled in Original Medicare, as well as if you have Medicare Advantage, Medigap or Part D coverage.
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