You can sign up for Medicare during certain time periods once you become eligible. You may not need to sign up every year, but you will still have a chance to review your coverage or change plans.
When you are newly eligible or turn 65 you can sign up for Medicare Advantage Plan and or a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan. You can enroll in the program “during the 7-month period that starts 3 months before the month you will turn 65 and ends 3 months after you turn 65.” Coverage then begins on the first day of the month after you joined the plan.
Two Enrollment Periods
There are yearly enrollment periods for Part C and D. Every year you can make changes to your Advantage Plan or Medicare Prescription drug coverage that will start the following year. There are 2 different enrollment periods every year.
During open enrollment (October 15 through December 7)for Medicare Advantage and Medicare prescription drug coverage you can stop Original Medicare and start a Medicare Advantage Plan, or the opposite, switch from Medicare Advantage Plan back to Original Medicare. You are also able to switch Medicare Advantage Plans, Join a Medicare Prescription Drug plan or completely drop your Medicare prescription drug coverage.
The period for Medicare Advantage Disenrollment is January 1 through February 14. During this time you can leave your plan and switch to Original Medicare, switch from one Advantage Plan to another, and drop, switch or join an (MSA) Medical Savings Account Plan.