Whether you’re enrolling in Blue Cross Medicare Advantage for the first time or switching your Blue Cross Medicare Advantage plan, there are two ways you can enroll. Before making an enrollment decision, it is important that you fully understand our benefits and rules. Review a pre-enrollment checklist to learn more.
There are four enrollment periods for Blue Cross Medicare Advantage. Review them below to find which one is right for you.
Annual Enrollment Period (AEP)
Anyone can join, switch or drop a Medicare Advantage plan between October 15 and December 7. If you apply during this time, coverage begins on January 1.
Making Changes to Your Coverage After December 7
Between January 1 and March 31 if you're in a Medicare Advantage Plan, you can leave your plan and switch to Original Medicare. If you switch to Original Medicare during this time, you'll have until March 31 to also join a Medicare prescription plan. Your coverage will begin the first day of the month after the plan gets your enrollment form.
During this period, you can't switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage Plan.
Open Enrollment Period (OEP)
The Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period (MA OEP) is January 1 through March 31 each year. During this time, you may enroll in another MAPD plan or disenroll from our plan and return to Original Medicare. You may only make one election during the MA OEP Enrollment Period. You are also eligible to use the MA OEP if you are a new Medicare beneficiary who enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan during your ICEP. In this case the OEP period occurs from the month of eligibility to Part A and Part B through the last day of the 3rd month of eligibility.
Initial Enrollment Period (IEP)
When you first become eligible for Medicare, you can join during the 7-month period that starts 3 months before the month you turn 65, includes the month you turn 65 and ends 3 months after the month you turn 65.
Special Enrollment Period (SEP)
In most cases, you must stay in the plan for the calendar year when your coverage began. But you may be able to join, switch or drop a Medicare Advantage Plan during a Special Enrollment Period. Below is a list of some, but not all the reasons you may need to change during a Special Enrollment Period:
- Moving outside of the plan's approved service area
- Entering or leaving a qualified institution, such as a nursing home
- Qualifying for low-income subsidy assistance (Extra Help)
- Enrolling in Medicaid
- Involuntarily losing creditable prescription drug coverage
- Leaving or losing your employer's health plan
Contact us if any of these situations apply to you.
For more information, refer to the Medicare and You Handbook.
*Dates subject to change after January 1, 2022.