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Time For Your Annual Medicare Plan Review

Time For Your Annual Medicare Plan Review 1

Medicare Open Enrollment dates are October 15th through December 7th, 2020. If you want to change your plan, this is your chance. Remember, Medicare plans can change each year.


September & OctoberReview & compare

  • Review: Your plan may change. Review any notices from your plan about changes for next year.
  • Compare: Use Medicare’s Plan Finder to find a plan that meets your needs.
  • Visit the Medicare Plan Finder at

October 15Open Enrollment begins

  • This is the one time of year when ALL people with Medicare can make
    changes to their health and prescription drug plans for the next year.

* Decide: October 15 is the first day you can change your Medicare coverage for next year.

December 7Open Enrollment ends

  • In most cases, December 7 is the last day you can change your Medicare
    coverage for next year. The plan has to get your enrollment request (application) by December 7.

January 1Coverage begins

  • Your new coverage begins January 1 if you switch to a new plan. If you stay with the same plan, any changes to coverage, benefits, or costs for the new year will begin on January 1.

Making changes to your coverage after January 1

Between January 1–March 31

  • If you’re in a Medicare Advantage Plan (like
    an HMO or PPO), you can leave your plan and switch to another Medicare Advantage Plan with or without prescription drug coverage or Original Medicare.
  • If you switch to Original Medicare, you’ll have the option to also join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan.
  • Your coverage will begin the first day of the month after the plan gets your enrollment form. In certain cases, you may be able to make other changes if you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.
  • Each year brings new health plan and prescription drug coverage choices. Look at your current health and prescription drug coverage each fall, and make sure your plan’s still right for you.
  • Also, remember to take advantage of free preventive benefits, cancer screenings, and yearly “Wellness” visits.
  • Download the free “What’s Covered” mobile app from the App Store or Google Play to get coverage information right on your mobile device.

Is my plan right for me?

  • Medicare Plan Finder makes it easier than ever to
    compare coverage options and shop for plans. You may be able to find plans in your area that: Cost less, Cover your drugs, Let you go to the providers you want, like your doctor or pharmacy, Offer extra benefits that Original Medicare doesn’t cover, like vision, hearing, dental coverage, prescription drugs, or extended coverage when you travel.
  • You can also get an estimate of your out-of-pocket costs and Quality and customer service ratings from current plan members.
  • If you want to change plans, call the plan you want to join.
    Medicare can also help you enroll—online, in person, or on the
  • If you’re satisfied that your current coverage will meet your
    needs for next year, you don’t need to do anything.
  • Remember, during Medicare Open Enrollment, you can decide to
    stay in Original Medicare or join a Medicare Advantage Plan (like
    an HMO or PPO).
  • If you’re already in a Medicare Advantage Plan, you can use Open Enrollment to switch back to Original Medicare.

4 ways to get the help you need

  1. Visit to learn about and
    compare coverage options and shop for health and drug
  2. Look at your most recent “Medicare & You” handbook to
    see a listing of plans in your area. Review any information
    you get from your current plan, including the “Annual Notice
    of Change” letter.
  3. Call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227), and say “Agent.”
    TTY users can call 1-877-486-2048. Help is available 24
    hours a day, including weekends. If you need help in a
    language other than English or Spanish, let the customer
    service representative know the language.
  4. Get free personalized health insurance counseling by calling
    your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP). Visit, or call 1-800-MEDICARE to get the phone

Need Extra Help Paying for Medicare Prescriptions?

  • If you have limited income and resources, you may qualify
    for Extra Help to pay your prescription drug costs.
  • Or, call Social Security at: 1-800-772-1213 and ask for form SSA-i1020. TTY users can call 1-800-325-0778.

If you found this information helpful please write a comment to let us know what specifically had an impact. Please share your experiences navigating Medicare with our other readers so we can all learn from you.

Ms. Jenn Landers | Patient Advocate Alliance LLC
Edited by Dr. Justin Groode

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