You should make any necessary changes to your Medicare coverage by December 7, 2020, in order for the changes to take effect on January 1, 2021. If in 2021, you need to change your Medicare coverage, you may have the opportunity to make changes, if:
- You have a Medicare Advantage Plan. You will be able to make one change to your coverage between January 1 and March 31 if you are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan. During this time, you can switch from one Medicare Advantage Plan to another or switch from a Medicare Advantage Plan to Original Medicare, with or without a Part D Prescription Drug Plan. This enrollment period is only for people who are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan. If you are enrolled in Original Medicare, you will not be able to make changes during this time.
- You have Extra Help. If you have Extra Help, the federal program that helps pay for some to most of the out-of-pocket costs of Medicare prescription drug coverage, you will have a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) to enroll in or switch Part D plans once per quarter in the first three quarters of the year (January through March, April through June, and July through September). If you make a change to your coverage using this SEP, the change will become effective the first of the month following the month that you make the change. During the fourth quarter of the year, you will not be able to use this SEP, and should instead use Fall Open Enrollment to make prescription drug coverage changes.
There are other circumstances when you can be eligible for a Special Enrollment Period to change your Medicare health or drug coverage. For example, if your Medicare Advantage Plan leaves your service area, or if you want to change into a plan with a five-star rating in your service area, you may be able to access a SEP to make changes outside of normal enrollment periods.
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Return to: Medicare 2021
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