Special Enrollment Periods (SEP)

Now that Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period is over, you may be wondering if you might have an opportunity to make a change to your Medicare health coverage before next year’s AEP begins on October 15. There are special circumstances that may allow you to switch plans or change the way you get your Medicare benefits throughout the year. Special Enrollment Periods can vary. “Rules about when you can make changes and the type of changes you can make are different for each SEP.”

If you have been enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan, with or without prescription drug coverage, and have decided that you would like to return to Original Medicare, there is a Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period that allows you to make this change. From January 1 through February 14, you may drop your Medicare Advantage Plan and switch to Original Medicare. If you choose to do this, you may also enroll in a stand-alone Prescription Drug Plan (PDP) during this period.

There may be circumstances beyond your control that may leave you in need of different Medicare coverage. For instance, if you move out of your plan’s service area, move back into the United States after living outside the country, move into or out of a skilled nursing facility or long term care hospital, or are released from jail, you may be eligible for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP).

Life can be unpredictable, and Medicare coverage can change with you if you are faced with certain changes, including, but not limited to the following events:

• You qualify for Extra Help
• You become eligible for Medicare and Medicaid
• Medicare terminates your plan’s contract
• You no longer have the condition that qualified you for your current Special Needs Plan
• You are diagnosed with a condition that qualifies you for a Special Needs Plan

There are specific eligibility and enrollment qualifications for each SEP, so if you feel you re eligible for one of these Special Enrollment Periods, take the time to consider your options and find the coverage that is right for you.