Do you know when to enroll?

Figuring out when you should enroll in a Medicare plan, and which one you should choose, can be difficult. We're here to help with information about plan types and enrollment periods.

When you turn 65, provided you are no longer working...
If you don't know when your Medicare Part A or B coverage starts...
If you are still working at the age of 65 (or older)...
If your Medicare Part A or B coverage has not yet begun...
 

Enrollment Period Options

If you have been eligible for Medicare for a while, but have not yet enrolled because you were working or covered by an employer-sponsored plan, you have different options as far as enrollment periods:

Annual Election Period

(October 15 - December 7)


During this period, you can:

  • Enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan or prescription drug plan
  • Disenroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan, prescription drug plan or Medicare Supplement Plan
  • Change your Medicare Advantage Plan, prescription drug plan or Medicare Supplement Plan
  • Return to Original Medicare
  • Stay with your current plan

Any enrollments or changes made during this period are effective on January 1 of the following year.

Initial Enrollment Period

(Year-Round)


If this is your first time getting Medicare:

Eligibility by birthday

  • 7-month period begins 3 months before the month you turn 65, the month you turn 65, and ends 3 months after you turn 65

Eligibility by disability

  • 7-month period beings 3 months before the 25th month of getting disability, your 25th month of getting disability, and ends 3 months after your 25th month of getting disability

Open Enrollment

(January 1 - March 31)


During this period, you can:

  • Switch to a different Medicare Advantage Plan
  • Drop your Medicare Advantage plan and return to Original Medicare, Part A and Part B
  • Sign up for a stand-alone Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan (if you return to Original Medicare)
  • Drop your stand-alone prescription drug plan (if you return to Original Medicare)

Special Enrollment Period (SEP)

You qualify for a Special Enrollment (SEP) when you have one of the extenuating circumstances listed below. If you qualify for an SEP, you can make changes to your coverage during that SEP because of those circumstances.

Qualifying events that may lead to an SEP include:

  • Coverage ending on an employer-sponsored health plan
  • Becoming eligible for Medicare or Medicaid
  • Making a permanent move of residence or entering a nursing home
  • Low income qualification
  • Losing existing prescription drug coverage involuntarily

Sharp Direct Advantage is offered by Sharp Health Plan. Sharp Health Plan is an HMO with a Medicare contract. Enrollment with Sharp Health Plan depends on contract renewal. Read the full disclaimer.

H5386_2019 Website

Page Last Updated: 10/29/2018
  • 10/25/2017 8:05:46 AM
  • 10/29/2018 10:39:21 PM
  • 10/29/2018 10:39:21 PM
  • 1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM