How Do I Join a Medicare Advantage Plan?
Generally, you can join a Medicare Advantage Plan if you have Medicare Part A and Part B and you live in an area where there is an advantage plan that accepts new members. Some plans only cover certain counties within a state and you must live in one of those counties where the plan is offered.
Some Medicare Advantage Plans hold local seminars to introduce their plans and you can get and complete a paper application at that time. You also can enroll by calling the plan, visiting the plan’s website, or on www.medicare.gov. The Medicare site also lets you compare plans in your area. You also can join by calling Medicare at 800-633-4227.
If you are switching to a different advantage plan, all you have to do is join the new plan and you will automatically be disenrolled from your old plan. You will not have any lapse in your coverage.
Medicare limits when you can join, switch, or drop a Medicare Advantage Plan. You can join a plan when you first become eligible for Medicare. This is anytime beginning three months before the month you turn 65 and ends three months after the month you turned 65.
For example, if you turn 65 on April 28th, your eligibility period starts on January 1st and ends on July 30th.
If you are disabled and have Social Security Disability Insurance, you can join an advantage plan three months before to three months after your 25th month of disability.
You also can switch or drop your advantage during an enrollment period between November 15 and December 31 of each year.