Medicare Your Coverage Options

New Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period: January through March

Written by Diane Archer

Beginning in January 2019, there is a new Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period (MAOEP). You have the right to leave your Medicare Advantage plan and enroll in traditional Medicare and Medicare Part D between January 1 and March 31 of each year. This right is in addition to your right to switch Medicare plans during the Fall annual Open Enrollment Period.

The Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period allows anyone in a Medicare Advantage plan to switch to traditional Medicare or another Medicare Advantage plan. If you are enrolled in traditional Medicare, you do not have the right to switch to a Medicare Advantage plan during the MAOEP.

If you switch out of your Medicare Advantage plan into a new Medicare plan, your coverage in the new plan will begin on the first day of the following month. If you want to switch to traditional Medicare, make sure that you have supplemental insurance to fill gaps in coverage. If you have Medicaid or retiree coverage that wraps around traditional Medicare, you are set. If you need to buy the coverage, sometimes called “Medigap,” contact your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) at to find out what coverage is available to you.

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