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What to Do If You Missed Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period

Posted by Russ Scott
Estimated Reading Time 1 minute 35 seconds

What to Do If You Missed Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period

Missing the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) for Medicare can be a source of concern for many. The AEP, typically running from October 15 to December 7 each year, is when you can make changes to your Medicare coverage. If you’ve missed this critical window, don’t worry—there are still options available to ensure you have the health coverage you need.

  1. Understand Your Current Coverage

Firstly, assess your current Medicare coverage. If you’re already enrolled in Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) and Part B (medical insurance), these will continue automatically. However, if you were planning to change plans or add additional coverage like Medicare Advantage (Part C) or Prescription Drug Coverage (Part D), missing the AEP can affect these plans.

  1. Look for Special Enrollment Periods (SEPs)

SEPs allow changes to Medicare coverage outside the AEP under certain conditions, such as moving to a new area, losing current coverage, or other specific situations. Check if any of these circumstances apply to you, as they could provide an opportunity to enroll or make changes outside the standard period.

  1. Consider Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period

If you’re already enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, there’s a window from January 1 to March 31 each year when you can switch to another Medicare Advantage plan or revert to Original Medicare (Part A and B). This period doesn’t allow you to switch, add, or drop Medicare Part D coverage.

  1. Evaluate Other Insurance Options

If you’re ineligible for SEPs and the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period doesn’t apply to you, explore other insurance options. This might include employer-sponsored plans if you or your spouse is still working, or looking into Medicaid if you qualify based on income and resource limits.

  1. Prepare for Next Year

Mark your calendar for the next AEP. It’s also wise to review your health care needs annually to determine if your current plan still fits or if changes are needed during the next enrollment period.

Don’t Worry!

Missing the Medicare AEP isn’t the end of the road for managing your health insurance. There are specific conditions and periods that may still allow you to adjust your coverage. Stay in touch with a licensed insurance agent, explore all options available to you, and prepare for future enrollment periods to ensure your health insurance needs are adequately met.


Russ Scott //

I was born and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I played rugby at Oklahoma State University where I graduated with a degree in Finance and a minor in Accounting. My wife, Erica, and I married in 2009 and have three wonderful children Rory (8), Sydney (6) and Reince (5). I've also been a licensed insurance professional with Medicare in the center of it all for more than 15 years.

One thing I don't take for granted is getting the privilege to meet with individuals and independent agents every week to discuss insurance needs in today’s ever-changing benefits environment. The companies that our agency has chosen to represent have become leaders in their markets and our vision is to develop a strong, capable distribution force to bring their insurance products to the public.

Legacy Insurance Advisors' mission is to sell and service all forms of health and life insurance by representing the best carriers in the industry, by maintaining a superior client base, by partnering with and retaining the most qualified professionals, and by providing all agency personnel with the training and tools available to give the very best possible service to our clients and companies. Our agents, managers, and staff are committed to educating and empowering our policyholders. We will provide guidance and expertise while managing our clients’ risk. Because of Legacy Insurance Advisors’ access to multiple providers in nearly every line of insurance, we will customize plans to fit our clients’ wants and needs.

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