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Medicare Advantage Enrollment Period Overview

Medicare Advantage annual enrollmentNews Paper Headline

The following is a quick reference of changes to the enrollment period for Advantage Plans with a January 2013 effective date.

  • The Annual Enrollment Period takes place between October 15th and December 7th. This is a change from years past when the Annual Enrollment Period began November 15 and ended December 31.
  • The open Enrollment Period which ran from January 1 through March 31 was eliminated and is no longer available.
  • If you enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan your only opportunity to make a change is between January 1 and February 14. During this period you will only be allowed to dis-enroll from your Advantage Plan and return to original Medicare. You may purchase a stand-alone Part D Plan and purchase a Medicare supplement if you wish.

The above enrollment periods are for those individuals that do not qualify for a special enrollment period due to a special circumstance.

Compare 2013 Medicare Advantage Plans

This change to the Medicare Advantage Enrollment Period for 2013 plans caught many people off guard. It is in your best interest if you are interested in enrolling in an Advantage Plan to be proactive and compare plans as soon as possible. If you are enrolled in a plan currently be alert for any notices from your current plan sponsor.

If you are interested in changing plans or are considering plans for the first time visit medicare.gov to search for plans in your area. Finding and comparing plans online is the easiest way to cover a lot of ground. Once you find plans that may interest you be certain to review the Medicare Advantage enrollment kit materials.

Taking note of the Medicare Advantage enrollment changes and being proactive is your responsibility. So don’t miss the boat!


  1. “Expect that insurance companies offering Medicare Advantage Plans will make their 2012 Plans available earlier than in years past.”

    Carriers cannot reveal their 2012 plan benefits until CMS allows them to do so.

  2. John, Thanks you so much. I was misinformed. I’ve modified the article.

  3. Will there be another enrollment meeting in my area before the dead line to sign up my area is 30008

  4. Vera, Medicare meetings are generally hosted by insurance agents and agencies. You should contact the group that presented the last meeting. If you are unsure who hosted the meeting you can generally speak with a representative of the venue to find out.

  5. Hello,
    I am a nurse working in the hospital area. I’ve heard that effective January, 2012, that there will be a major change to hospital benefits for those covered by Medicare.

    I can’t find any info online, but this rumor concerned: that if a patient goes to the hospital for a period of time and then goes home – or to another facility, i.e. nursing home, etc. that should they return to that same hospital in a 30 day window period, that same hospital will not be paid.
    This would seem to imply that to receive inpatient hospital coverage, that this patient could not return to that same hospital. So:
    1. does this mean the patient can simply go to another, acute care hospital? or,
    2. the patient needs to go to either an LTAC (long term acute care) or skilled nursing facility in order to receive optimal coverage?

    thank you,

  6. Laurie, I did not find hard information that spells out the changes to Hospital Re-admission Reduction policies as you have detailed them. Hospitals with re-admissions would receive less reimbursement from Medicare beginning in October 2012.

  7. Mary K. Narramore

    I recently had a cataract removed, I only had one choice as to where I could go to have it done, which was a local hospital, I wasn’t satisfied with them at all, I ask if I could go to an ouptient facility, where your in & out much faster. I have an advantage plus plan,I’m thinking of changing to Medicare with a supplment, leaning on aarp for the supplment, when & how can I change.

  8. Mary, Unfortunately, you are locked in to your Advantage plan through the end of the year. The annual Open Enrollment begins October 15th and ends December 7th.

  9. I am a legal citizen of the USA as from 1 December 2010
    Is there any chance for me to get medicare now ? I don’t mind paying for the services.I have tried all insurance companies but as far as they are concerned,I am to old.I will be 72 this year.This to me is discrimination on there behalf.
    I hope to hear from you.
    Thanks for your help

  10. Louis, Insurance is founded on the principal or discrimination. I know that sounds harsh, but ask anyone who has a bad driving record that wants auto insurance. In order to receive Medicare benefits, you generally need to to pay Medicare taxes for 40 quarters (10 years). Contact Medicare to explore the option of paying for Parts A and B.

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