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  • Medicare Experience

When Was Medicare Open Enrollment 2020?

What you can do if you were hoping to act but missed the deadline.
Tablet displaying calendar on a desk with computer and the year 2020.


When Was Medicare Open Enrollment for 2020?

The Medicare Open Enrollment Period for 2020 took place between October 15, 2019 and December 7, 2019.


For those that switched plans or enrolled in a new plan during this period, their coverage began on January 1, 2020.


Is Medicare Open Enrollment the Same Each Year?

Yes, the Medicare Open Enrollment Period is the same each year, occurring between October 15 and December 7.


Annual Medicare Open Enrollment Period dates and coverage start date

If you are interested in learning about the upcoming Medicare Open Enrollment Period, you can read about it here: Medicare Open Enrollment 2021.


What Options Do I Have During Open Enrollment?

During the Open Enrollment Period, also known as the Annual Open Enrollment Period, you are allowed to make the following changes to your Medicare coverage:

  1. You can switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan, or from a Medicare Advantage plan to Original Medicare.

  2. You can switch from one Medicare Advantage plan to a different Medicare Advantage plan, or from one Medicare Part D plan to another Medicare Part D plan.

  3. If you did not enroll in a Medicare Part D plan when first eligible during your Initial Enrollment Period, you can enroll in a Medicare Part D plan. Note, however, that a Part D late enrollment penalty may apply.


What Should I Do If I missed Open Enrollment?

If you were hoping to make a switch to your Medicare coverage during the Open Enrollment Period but missed your opportunity to act, here are the available options moving forward:


Senior considering coverage options.

1. Act During the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period

The Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period takes place from January 1 to March 31. During this period, you can change from your current Medicare Advantage plan to a different Medicare Advantage plan.


Additionally, you can disenroll from your current Medicare Advantage plan to revert back to Original Medicare coverage.


If you choose this option, you have the ability to also enroll in a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan.


2. Consider a Medigap Plan

The best time to purchase a Medigap plan, or Medicare Supplement plan, is during your Medigap Open Enrollment Period.


How to pair Medigap coverage.

This period automatically begins once you are 65 years old and enrolled in Medicare Part B.


The period extends for 6 months and guarantees you the ability to purchase any Medigap plan sold in your state.


3. Check for Special Enrollment Periods

In certain circumstances, Medicare allows beneficiaries to change coverage outside of the Open Enrollment Period for qualifying life events.


Some examples of qualifying events are losing your coverage, a change in coverage to your plan, or moving to a new address.

You can also look for new 5-Star Medicare plans released during fall.


As a Medicare beneficiary, you have the option to switch to a 5-Star Medicare Advantage plan, Medicare Prescription Drug plan, or Medicare cost plan once a year between December 8 and November 30.


4. Change Your Prescription Drugs

All Medicare prescription drug plans are required to provide at least two options for each drug category and class.


So, if your current plan doesn’t cover your specific drug, it will cover a different drug that is designed for the same purpose.


Be sure to consult your doctor before making a switch to an alternative drug.




Up Next: What If I Missed the Open Enrollment Period?




Helpful Resources:

Medicare: Joining a Health or Drug Plan

Medicare: Medicare Open Enrollment 2020

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