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Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period vs. GEP

While the Medicare General Enrollment Period and Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period occur during the same time (January 1 through March 31), these two periods should not be considered the same. The overall purpose of these enrollment periods is different as one period focuses on enrolling for the first time, while the other is meant to help you switch plans.

What is the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period?

This period was designed to cater towards already enrolled Medicare beneficiaries, specifically those enrolled in a Medicare Advantage (Part C) plan. If you’re in a Medicare Advantage plan but are not satisfied with it, you can do one of these options:

  • Switch to another Medicare Advantage plan that may or may not have prescription drug coverage
  • Drop your Medicare Advantage plan to go back to Original Medicare and enroll in a prescription drug plan if need be

If you take advantage of this enrollment period, your coverage will begin on the first day of the month after your plan receives your request for the new coverage.

What is the General Enrollment Period?

To enroll in a Medicare plan for the first time, you will typically need to do so during your Initial Enrollment Period. However, some people may delay their enrollment and not use this period. Fortunately, this is where the General Enrollment Period comes in. During the General Enrollment Period, you will be able to enroll in Medicare, but your coverage won’t actually start until July 1. 

Since you delayed your Medicare enrollment up until this point, you will also have to pay late enrollment penalties. The penalty for Medicare Part A can be paid off after a certain amount of time, but the penalty for Part B is permanent.

Learn More About Medicare Enrollment

We understand how important it is for you to know about the Medicare enrollment periods and which period may benefit you best. At Peritia Advisors, we can provide you will all this information and more! Give us a call today to learn more.