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Deadline for Medicare Open Enrollment 2021

When Is the Deadline for Medicare Open Enrollment?

The deadline for Medicare Open Enrollment is December 7. Each year, the Medicare Open Enrollment Period runs from October 15 to December 7. If you enroll in a new plan during this period, your coverage will begin on January 1st of the following year.


Deadline for Medicare Open Enrollment December 7

So, if you are looking to make a change to your Medicare coverage during the next open enrollment period, that period will begin on October 15, 2020 and end on December 7, 2020. If you enroll in a new plan, that coverage will begin on January 1st, 2021.


What Is the Deadline for Switching Medicare Plans?

The deadline for the Medicare Open Enrollment Period is December 7. During this time, Medicare beneficiaries can reevaluate their coverage and make certain changes to their current coverage. The changes you can make during this period are limited.


Here are your available options during the Medicare Open Enrollment Period:

  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.

If the Medicare plan switch you want to make is one of the options listed above, you must complete that switch before the Medicare Open Enrollment Period deadline.


What Is the Deadline to Sign Up for Medicare?

It’s important to note that you cannot sign up for Original Medicare during the Medicare Open Enrollment Period. If you missed your Initial Enrollment Period, the 7-month period that surrounds your 65th birthday, your next available option to enroll in Medicare is during the General Enrollment Period.

The General Enrollment Period runs from January 1 – March 31 every year. During this time you can enroll in Medicare Part A and/or Medicare Part B. If you enroll during the General Enrollment Period, your coverage will begin on July 1 of the same year.

Note: Generally, if you don’t sign up for Medicare Part B during your Initial Enrollment Period, you will be subject to a late enrollment penalty. The penalty will be applied to your Part B premium amount. Keep in mind that you will have to pay this penalty for as long as you have Part B coverage.




Up Next: Comprehensive Guide to Medicare Enrollment 2020




Helpful Resources

Medicare: Part A and Part B Sign Up Periods