Medicare’s Open Enrollment & Other Dates to Remember this Fall

Medicare’s fall Open Enrollment begins in just 15 days on October 15th. Officially referred to as the Annual Election Period (AEP), this is the time when you can change how you receive your Medicare coverage by either joining a Medicare Advantage plan or returning to Original fee-for-service Medicare, and/or joining, switching or disenrolling from a Part D prescription drug plan. This is different from the Affordable Care Acts’ open enrollment period on the Marketplace which is from Oct 1, 2013 through March 31, 2014. Medicare beneficiaries do not need to buy coverage in the Marketplace as they are considered already covered. (See the National Council on Aging’s article, What the Health Insurance Marketplace Means for Seniors.) For more information about your options during the AEP, see our webpage on the Annual Election Period.

Below are also some important dates to remember this fall…

Sep 16-30 Centers for Medicare & Medicaid mails Medicare & You handbook
Sep 30 Plans send Annual Notice of Coverage/Evidence of Coverage
Oct 1 Marketing of Medicare Advantage and Part D plans may begin
Oct 2 Beneficiaries of non-renewing plans must receive notice
Oct 8 Plan star ratings go “live” on
Oct 15–Dec 7 Annual Election Period (Open Enrollment)
Dec 8-Feb 28 Special Election Period for beneficiaries in non-renewing plans
Dec 8-Nov 30 Special Election for 5-star plans
Jan 1-Feb 14 Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period
Jan 1-Mar 31 General Enrollment Period (Medicare Parts A & B)

Karen Joy Fletcher

Our blogger Karen Joy Fletcher is CHA’s Communications Director. With a Masters in Public Health from UC Berkeley, she is the online “public face” of the organization, provides technical expertise, writing and research on Medicare and other health care issues. She is responsible for digital content creation, management of CHA’s editorial calendar, and managing all aspects of CHA’s social media presence. She loves being a “communicator” and enjoys networking and collaborating with the passionate people and agencies in the health advocacy field. See her current articles.