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Medicare Enrollment Periods

Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period is October 15 – December 7.

There are exceptions that may allow you to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan outside of this period. Call us to see how you can enroll.

Part B Enrollment

If you have Medicare Part A but did not enroll in Medicare Part B, the Part B General Enrollment Period is from January through March. You then have until June 30 to join a Medicare Advantage plan for additional benefits starting in July.

Other enrollment periods include:

5-Star Special Enrollment Period

(Between December 8 and November 30)

If a Medicare Advantage Plan, Medicare drug plan, or Medicare Cost Plan with a 5-star rating is available in your area, you can use the 5-star Special Enrollment Period to switch from your current Medicare plan to a Medicare plan with a “5-star” quality rating. You can use this Special Enrollment Period only once between December 8 and November 30.


Open Enrollment Period

(January 1 through March 31)

The Open Enrollment Period is from January 1 through March 31. During this period, you can make one change to how you receive your Medicare benefits (for example, by changing from one plan to another or by returning to Original Medicare).


Initial Enrollment Period

(For individuals new to Medicare)

If you are turning 65 and becoming eligible for Medicare, you can enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan:

  • Up to 3 months before the month of your birthday, with coverage beginning the first day of your birth month
  • The month of your birthday, with coverage beginning the first day of the following month
  • Up to 3 months after the month of your birthday, with coverage beginning the first day of the month following your enrollment


Special Enrollment Period for Dual-Eligibles

(For people with Medicare and Medicaid)

This period applies if:

  • You recently had a change in your Medicaid (newly got Medicaid, had a change in level of Medicaid assistance or lost Medicaid).
  • You have both Medicare and Medicaid or the state helps pay for your Medicare premiums, or you get Extra Help paying for your Medicare prescription drug coverage, but you haven’t had a change.

Other ways you may qualify for an enrollment period include…

  • You recently moved outside of the service area for your current plan or you recently moved and this plan is a new option for you.
  • You are moving into, live in or recently moved out of a long-term care facility (for example, a nursing home or long-term care facility).
  • You recently had a change in your Extra Help paying for Medicare prescription drug coverage (newly got Extra Help, had a change in the level of Extra Help, or lost Extra Help).
  • You were enrolled in a special needs plan, but you have lost the special needs qualification required to be in that plan.
  • You recently left a PACE program.
  • You recently involuntarily lost your creditable prescription drug coverage (coverage as good as Medicare’s).
  • You are leaving your employer or union coverage.
  • You belong to a pharmacy assistance program provided by your state.
  • Your plan is ending its contract with Medicare, or Medicare is ending its contract with your plan.
  • You were recently released from incarceration.
  • You recently returned to the United States after living permanently outside of the U.S.
  • You recently obtained lawful presence status in the United States.
  • You were enrolled in a plan by Medicare (or the state), and you want to choose a different plan.
  • You were affected by a weather-related emergency or major disaster (as declared by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)).
  • You are in a plan that was recently taken over by the state because of financial issues, and you want to switch to another plan.
  • You’re in a plan that had a star rating less than 3 stars for the last 3 years, and you want to join a plan with a star rating 3 stars or higher.
  • You are new to Medicare, and Medicare entitlement was made retroactively/you were notified about getting Medicare after your Part A and/or Part B effective date.
  • You had Medicare prior to now but are now turning 65.

Questions about enrollment?

If one of the above statements applies to you, please contact Peoples Health at 1-800-978-9765 (TTY users should call 711) to see if you are eligible to enroll. We are available seven days a week, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Did you miss Medicare’s annual enrollment deadline?

You may still be able to enroll in a Peoples Health plan. Call us to find out if you’re eligible for a special enrollment period.

To find out if you're eligible for a Special Enrollment Period, call:

1-800-978-9765 (TTY: 711)

People with Medicare (beneficiaries) in Louisiana may be eligible for a Special Election Period (SEP). The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has declared a weather-related emergency or major disaster in Louisiana and enacted a SEP.

Who is eligible?

  • Any beneficiary who resides in, or resided in (at the start of the incident), an area that FEMA declared an emergency or major disaster (see fema.gov/disasters).
  • Beneficiaries who do not live in the impacted areas but receive assistance making health care decisions from someone who lives in one of the affected areas are also eligible; and
  • Beneficiaries who had another valid election period at the time of the incident (Annual Enrollment Period (AEP), SEP or aged into Medicare), but did not make an election during that other valid election period due to the disaster or other emergency.

What does this mean for beneficiaries?

  • Beneficiaries who were eligible for a different SEP or aged into Medicare but were unable to enroll in a plan during the allotted time period due to the disaster or other emergency have until the extended deadline to enroll.
  • Enrollments received are effective the first day of the following month. 

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