Each year, beneficiaries who are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, have certain times they can enroll into another plan, switch plans or disenroll from their current plan. The main time is the Annual Election Period from Oct 15 – Dec 7 of each year. People in a Medicare Advantage (MA) plan also have an opportunity to disenroll from their MA plan and return to Original Medicare during the Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period (MADP), which is from Jan 1 – Feb 14.
The key difference with the AEP and the MADP is that you can only leave a Medicare Advantage and return to Original Medicare plan. You cannot join another MA plan. You are also given a special election period (SEP) to join a Part D plan.
- If you’re in a Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plan (MA-PD, you can either 1) submit a disenrollment request to your MA-PD plan and then enroll in a Part D plan, or 2) enroll in a Part D plan first, which then automatically disenrolls you from your MA-PD.
- If you’re in an MA only plan, you must first request disenrollment from your MA plan to trigger your SEP to join a Part D plan.
You can only enroll into one Part D plan during your SEP, and your SEP is only available during the MADP, January 1 – February 14. Your enrollment into your new Part D plan is effective the first of the following month.
For questions or assistance, please contact your local Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program (HICAP) at 1-800-434-0222.