Here’s What You Can and Can’t Do During Medicare OEP

Updated: Feb 10

We are part way into the annual Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period. Each year from January 1 – March 31, members of a Medicare Advantage (MA) Plan have a one-time opportunity to switch to a different Medicare Advantage Plan or back to Original Medicare with a separate Medicare drug plan if they wish. There are some basic switches that members of MA Plans can and cannot make during this period. The available changes can affect medical and hospital coverage, out of pocket expenses and prescription drug coverage so it’s important to understand what they are. If you would like to make a change, contact your Medicare agent to discuss your options.

What changes can I make to my health insurance during the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period?


There are two basic changes that Medicare enrollees can make during the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment period:

  • Seniors who are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan (that does or doesn’t have prescription drug coverage) have the option to change to a different Medicare Advantage Plan (that does or doesn’t have prescription drug coverage).

  • Seniors who are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan can move back to Original Medicare. Original Medicare covers Part A (hospital insurance) and Part B (medical insurance). Since Original Medicare does not include prescription drug coverage, seniors who return to Original Medicare during this time are also given the option to join a Medicare drug plan.

What changes to my health insurance are not allowed during the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment period?


There are three changes that seniors enrolled in Medicare cannot make during the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment period:

  • Seniors who are enrolled in Original Medicare cannot switch to a Medicare Advantage Plan.