Enrolling in a Medicare Advantage Plan is contingent on specific enrollment periods. If they want to enroll in Medicare Part C, they can sign up during the following times:
Initial Coverage Election Period: The timing of their ICEP depends on when they enroll in Part A and Part B. For many people, the Initial Coverage Election Period takes place at the same time as their Initial Enrollment Period The Initial Enrollment Period is the seven-month period starting three months before they are eligible for Part A and Part B. For most people, the month they are eligible for Medicare is the month they turn 65
General Enrollment Period: Those who delay Part B enrollment can sign up later, during the General Enrollment Period (January 1 to March 31 each year) or, if applicable, during a Special Enrollment Period.
Annual Election Period: This is the period when beneficiaries can enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, switch plans, add prescription drug coverage, or dis-enroll from a Medicare Advantage plan and return to Original Medicare. It occurs every year from October 15 to December 7.
Special Election Period: This enrollment allows beneficiaries to make changes to Medicare Advantage plan coverage outside of the regular enrollment periods. Eligibility for Special Election Periods are limited to specific situations, such as moving out of a plan's coverage area, and can take place throughout the year.
Another related enrollment period is the Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period, which takes place from January 1 to February 14 every year. However, they cannot enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan during this period. They can only drop their current Medicare Advantage plan coverage, return to Original Medicare, and add a stand-alone Medicare prescription drug plan.