Medicare Enrollment Schedule

There are strict enrollment dates for Medicare plans so be sure to plan ahead so you are prepared to make a decision when the enrollment period begins. Use the schedule below for Medicare Enrollment Dates and Guidelines.

senior man and tablet

When Do I Need to Enroll in Medicare?

Use these dates to plan ahead for your Medicare enrollment.


October 1 – October 14: Review And Compare Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plans

Review any notices from your plan about changes for next year. To learn more about your options view and download the Medicare and You 2022 pdf.

October 15 – December 7: Annual Enrollment Period (AEP)

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. You can:

  • Change from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage Plan
  • Change from a Medicare Advantage Plan back to Original Medicare
    Switch from one Medicare Advantage Plan to another Medicare Advantage Plan
  • Switch from a Medicare Advantage Plan that doesn’t offer drug coverage to a Medicare Advantage Plan that offers drug coverage
  • Switch from a Medicare Advantage Plan that offers drug coverage to a Medicare Advantage Plan that doesn’t offer drug coverage
  • Join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan
  • Switch from one Medicare Prescription Drug Plan to another Medicare Prescription Drug Plan.
  • Drop your Medicare prescription drug coverage completely

January 1: Coverage Begins

Your new coverage begins if you switched 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.

January 1 – March 31: Open Enrollment Period (OEP)

If you’re in a Medicare Advantage Plan (like an HMO or PPO), you can make one change to a different plan or switch back to Original Medicare (and join a stand-alone Medicare Prescription Drug Plan) once during this time. Any changes you make will be effective the first of the month after the plan gets your request.

Your 65th Birthday: Initial Enrollment Period (IEP)

If you’re new to Medicare, you have a 7-month period to enroll. The Initial Enrollment Period includes the three months before, the month of, and the three months following your 65th birthday. The date your coverage begins will depend on the date you enroll.

If you miss your IEP window, you may be able to sign up in one of the enrollment periods noted above.

Special Election Periods (SEP)

There are a few opportunities to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan outside of the standard enrollment periods. Individuals can be eligible for these Special Election Periods (SEPs) if they’ve recently moved, receive Extra Help or assistance through the Senior Prescription Drug Assistance Program, or even by having Medicare and Medicaid. Our agents can help you find SEPs and guide you through the process to qualify for one so you can make the change when you need to.

medicare enrollment schedule
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Contact Us

Have questions about enrolling in Medicare health insurance plans? Let us help. Contact us through this form or by calling 888-888-7511, and we’ll connect you with a licensed agent.

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