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How to change Medicare plans

Sometimes change can lead to something great. Consider switching to a Medicare Advantage plan that combines benefits you’ll actually use with a network of providers you know and trust.

When can I change Medicare plans?

If you’re eligible for Medicare, you can choose a new Medicare health or prescription drug plan every year during the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP). In certain cases, you can also choose a new plan at other times during the year.

You don’t have to switch plans every year, but you should know your options. That way you can decide whether it’s the right time to make a change.

What are the Medicare enrollment periods for changing plans?

You can change your current Medicare plan each year, during one or more specific time periods:


Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP)

This runs every year October 15 through December 7. During the AEP, anyone enrolled in Medicare can switch their plans, if they want to. You can shop around and compare plans to find the options that work best for you.


Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period (MA OEP)

This runs every year from January 1 through March 31. During the MA OEP, anyone enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan can switch their plans, if they want to. You can enroll in a new Medicare Advantage plan, or decide to go back to Original Medicare.


Medicare Special Enrollment Period (SEP)

This is an enrollment period for special circumstances, like moving out of your plan’s service area, eligibility changes and more. SEPs are triggered by specific events, so they can occur at any time during the year. You can learn more about SEPs on

Compare HealthPartners UnityPoint Health (PPO) Medicare plans

When the time comes to pick a plan (or switch plans), it’s important to consider a few key things like:

  • Your own health care needs and what kind of medical care coverage you want
  • Whether or not the doctors you see are in-network
  • The prescriptions you take
  • Extra benefits, like dental coverage, hearing aid coverage, an eyewear allowance, travel coverage and gym memberships

With HealthPartners UnityPoint Health, you have options for Medicare coverage. We combine decades of health care expertise, outstanding customer service and access to trusted local doctors so you can get the most out of Medicare.


Get an info packet

Want to review things on your own time? We’ll send a packet about our Medicare plans to your mailbox or email inbox.

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Want to hear from a Medicare pro? Attend an in-person meeting, watch a recorded meeting or schedule a one-on-one call.

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Legal information

Last updated September 2021

H3416_000403 Accepted

Last updated October 2020

H3416_000403 Accepted

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