Special Enrollment Period for Medicare


If you have certain events happen in your life which cause a change to your health insurance coverage situation or a change to your Medicare health insurance options, you may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period which allows you to enroll in a Medicare health plan outside of the Open Enrollment Period.

Examples of life events which make someone eligible for a Special Enrollment Period include moving to a new zip code with different Medicare coverage options or losing other health insurance coverage.

There are many different types of life events which would make someone eligible for a Special Enrollment Period. Rules for when you can make changes and the length of the enrollment period can vary by life event.

Life events which would make someone eligible for a Special Enrollment Period

  • Moving to a new address that isn't in my plan's service area.
  • Moving to a new address that's still in my plan's service area, but I have new plan options in my new location.
  • Moving back to the U.S after living outside the country.
  • Just moved into, currently live in, or just moved out of an institution (like a skilled nursing facility or long-term care hospital).
  • Released from jail.
  • No longer eligible for Medicaid
  • Leaving coverage from an employer or union (including COBRA coverage)
  • Involuntarily losing other drug coverage that’s as good as Medicare drug coverage (creditable coverage)
  • Changes to other drug coverage which causes it to no longer be considered creditable coverage
  • Losing drug coverage due to leaving a Medicare Cost Plan
  • Dropping coverage in a Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) plan
  • Having the chance to enroll in other coverage offered by my employer or union
  • Enrolling in other drug coverage which is as good as Medicare drug coverage (creditable coverage)
  • Enrolling in a Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) plan
  • Medicare takes an official action because of a problem with the plan that you are enrolled in
  • Medicare terminates or ends the contract with your plan
  • Medicare does not renew the contract with your Medicare Advantage Plan, Medicare Prescription Drug Plan, or Medicare Cost plan

Other Types of Enrollment Periods for Medicare

For more information on other types of enrollment periods, please visit our pages, Changing Your Medicare Plan and Are You Turning 65 or New to Medicare?

More Information

For more information on this topic, please visit www.medicare.gov

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