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IBX Insights

What is the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period?

By February 25, 2020December 11th, 2023Enrollment Health Insurance Medicare
An older couple studies a tablet as they relax on the couch with coffee

The Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period, or OEP, runs each year from January 1 through March 31. During this time, 2020 Medicare Advantage (Part C) members can change plans without penalty from CMS. The Medicare Advantage OEP is not to be confused with the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP), which runs from October 15 through December 7.

Changes You Can Make During the Medicare Advantage OEP

Between January 1 and March 31, members can make the following changes. They can:

  • Switch to a different Medicare Advantage plan
  • Drop a Medicare Advantage plan and switch to Original Medicare (Parts A and B) and a standalone prescription drug (Part D) plan
  • Drop a Medicare Advantage plan and switch to Original Medicare (Parts A and B) and a Medicare Supplement plan (also called a Medigap plan)

The effective date of Medicare Advantage disenrollment during the OEP will be the first day of the month following the date the disenrollment request is received. This means that disenrollment requests received by a Medicare Advantage plan in January will be effective February 1; those received in February will be effective March 1; and those received in March will be effective April 1.

There is one catch: each Medicare Advantage member can only make one switch during OEP.

Find the Plan That’s Right for You

If you or a loved one are unhappy with your Medicare Advantage plan, the OEP provides an opportunity for you to make a change, and with so many strong Medicare Advantage plans in the region, you’re bound to find one that’s right for you. Medicare Advantage plans offer high value for their costs. They can include prescription drug coverage, eliminating the need to keep track of separate prescription drug coverage details. They may also offer many extra benefits that Medicare Supplement plans and Original Medicare can’t, like fitness programs, over-the-counter benefits, and expanded medical benefits including chiropractic or podiatric care.

Best of all, Medicare Advantage plans have a great track record of supporting member wellness. They ensure that members get preventive services, they reduce hospitalizations, and they may be more affordable than you think.

Website last updated: 2/17/2020


Kortney Cruz

As Senior Vice President of Government Markets at Independence Blue Cross, Kortney provides overall leadership to Independence’s Medicare businesses, including operations, sales and marketing, risk analytics, and performance management, as well as oversight of the company’s Medicare STAR ratings initiatives and marketing Keystone HMO CHIP products and services to the communities we serve, and helping those communities enroll into the Medicare and CHIP coverage they need. She is directly responsible for acquisition and member retention marketing, product development, sales operations, and sales management at Independence in the Medicare and Keystone HMO CHIP area. Her goal is to deliver innovative and value-driven communications, and she is passionate about enriching the connection between Independence Blue Cross and our membership.