- Written by Christian Simmons
Christian Simmons is a writer for RetireGuide and a member of the Association for Financial Counseling & Planning Education (AFCPE®). He covers Medicare and important retirement topics. Christian is a former winner of a Florida Society of News Editors journalism contest and has written professionally since 2016.Read More
- Edited ByLamia Chowdhury
Lamia Chowdhury is a financial content editor for RetireGuide and has over three years of marketing experience in the finance industry. She has written copy for both digital and print pieces ranging from blogs, radio scripts and search ads to billboards, brochures, mailers and more.Read More
- Reviewed ByMichael Jones
Medicare Expert and Owner of Grand Anchor Insurance Solutions
Michael Jones is a licensed insurance agent who manages his own agency called Grand Anchor Insurance Solutions. In addition to being a Medicare expert, Michael specializes in other insurance products such as voluntary benefits for employees of businesses.Read More
- Published: October 21, 2022
- Updated: January 17, 2023
- 8 min read time
- This page features 6 Cited Research Articles
Updating your coverage under Medicare, the national health insurance program from the federal government that is available to people over 65 and some others living with disabilities, is allowed only during a specific time of the year or under special circumstances.
Known as Medicare open enrollment, it can often be a confusing process trying to understand the options available and the rules that affect the Medicare timeline. We’ve put together this guide and printable calendars to help clarify what you need to know for your 2023 Medicare open enrollment to make the process a smooth one.
When Is Medicare Open Enrollment for 2023?
Medicare open enrollment takes place from October 15 through December 7, 2022, with coverage changes going into effect on January 1, 2023.
When Is Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment for 2023?
For those currently enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan, there are two windows of time to make adjustments to your coverage. You can make changes during the Medicare open enrollment dates of October 15 through December 7, 2022, to take effect on January 1, 2023.
You also have the option to make changes during the Medicare Advantage open enrollment period, which takes place between January 1 through March 31, 2023. New coverage will start the first day of the month after you enroll in the new plan. You may only make adjustments once during the Medicare Advantage open enrollment period.
This printable calendar will help you clarify and track the dates you need to remember for the upcoming Medicare open enrollment period.
What Is Medicare Open Enrollment?
Medicare open enrollment (OEP) is a period of 52 days — or just over 7 weeks — when Americans currently enrolled in a Medicare plan can switch, drop or add on a health insurance and prescription drug coverage plan. It is also commonly referred to as the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP). The AEP dates of October 15 through December 7 remain the same every year.
This annual window of time for adjustments to a person’s Medicare plan is important because Medicare health and drug plans experience changes each year. Such changes may impact the providers and pharmacies in a plan’s network, the cost of a plan or the exact coverage included.
Preparing for the 2023 Medicare Open Enrollment Period
Understanding the ins and outs of Medicare plans can be a challenge, so planning ahead for the OEP is a smart idea.
How Do I Know If I Need To Change My Medicare Plan?
Individuals enrolled in any Medicare health or prescription drug plan should monitor for and review any new materials sent to them by their existing plan. Documents to look for include the “Annual Notice of Change” (ANOC) and the “Evidence of Coverage” (EOC). Information about the upcoming year’s Medicare plans is made available in early October each year. You can visit Medicare.gov or call 1-800-MEDICARE for the most current information.
Once you’ve confirmed that your specific plan is changing, take the time to ensure that your existing plan will continue to meet your needs for the upcoming year. If your plan is still being offered and you believe that it will still satisfy your medical and prescription drug needs, then you do not need to make any changes during the AEP.
If you feel that the pending changes to your existing plan will no longer meet your needs, you should prepare to make adjustments to your coverage during the AEP.
Types of Changes You Can Make During Medicare Open Enrollment
During the OEP from October 15 through December 7, Medicare recipients can make the following changes:
- Switch from Original Medicare (Parts A & B) to a Medicare Advantage (Part C) plan
- Transfer from one Medicare Advantage plan to an alternate Medicare Advantage plan
- Leave your Medicare Advantage (Part C) plan to return to Original Medicare (Parts A & B)
- Join a Medicare prescription drug (Part D) plan
- Switch from one Medicare prescription drug (Part D) plan to another
- Drop your current Medicare prescription drug (Part D) plan
During the Medicare Advantage OEP from January 1 through March 31, only Medicare Advantage plan members can make the following changes:
- Switch to a different Medicare Advantage (Part C) plan
- Drop your Medicare Advantage plan in order to return to Original Medicare (Parts A & B)
- Sign up for a Medicare prescription drug plan (Part D) if you return to Original Medicare
How Are Plan Costs Changing for 2023 Medicare Coverage?
There are small cost changes to both deductibles and premiums for the various Medicare plans for 2023.
- Medicare (Part A), which covers inpatient hospital care, skilled nursing facilities, hospice and several other services, will experience increases in deductibles and coinsurance costs. The deductible for inpatient hospital care increases $44 over the 2022 deductible, for a new total of $1,600 in 2023. And the daily coinsurance costs for those needing extended care services in skilled nursing facilities rises to $200 in 2023, compared to $194.50 in 2022.
- Medicare (Part B), which covers outpatient hospital services, physician care, medical equipment and additional services not covered by Part A, is scheduled to decrease its rates in 2023 for the first time in over a decade. Enrollees will pay a standard monthly premium of $164.50 in 2023, which is $5.20 less than the 2022 premium. The yearly deductible also decreased in cost, down $7 from 2022, to a total of $226 in 2023.
- Medicare Advantage (Part C), which covers the same medical services outlined for Parts A and B, is projected to decrease the average insurance premium for 2023 by 8%, dropping to $18 per month.
- Medicare Prescription Drug (Part D) covers the prescription drugs used by many Medicare enrollees. Standard premiums will decrease by 1.8%, dropping them to $31.50 per month for 2023. A new law called the Inflation Reduction Act is also projected to help reduce prescription drug costs for Medicare beneficiaries in the near future.
Additional Questions Worth Asking During Medicare Open Enrollment
When considering making changes to your Medicare coverage, keep these questions in mind when making your decision or bring them to a Medicare expert who can help:
- Does your existing coverage match your current medical needs?
- Are your physicians still covered by your plan?
- Are you happy with the health care services you received previously from your plan?
- Have your out-of-pocket insurance costs gone up?
- What new Medicare plans are available for 2023?
- Do you have gaps in your prescription drug coverage?
If you work with an independent insurance agent, they can help you figure out the answers to these questions in order to identify the right Medicare coverage for you.
Bring along our printable calendar detailing the timeline for the 2023 Medicare Advantage open enrollment to help with your planning.
FAQ About Medicare Enrollment
These common questions about the Medicare open enrollment period can clarify lingering confusion about the process.
Is Medicare Open Enrollment Different From Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment?
The Medicare open enrollment period that takes place between October 15 through December 7 is different from the Medicare Advantage open enrollment period, which occurs between January 1 through March 31. While the OEP is open to anyone with Medicare, the Medicare Advantage OEP is open only to individuals with existing Medicare Advantage health care plans. It’s interesting to note that Medicare statistics show that 45% of all Medicare coverage in the United States is from Medicare Advantage plans.
What if I Make a Mistake Or Change My Mind After Completing My Enrollment?
If you determine that you need to make edits to the Medicare selections you’ve already chosen during the OEP — perhaps due to human error or a change in your decision — you are free to revise your enrollment, as long as it takes place before December 7, 2022.
If errors are not identified until after the 2023 OEP, all hope is not lost. Those with a Medicare Advantage plan can address their fixes during the Medicare Advantage open enrollment period from January 1 through March 31, 2023. Enrollees are allowed to make a change to their coverage only once during the three-month window.
If you do not have Medicare Advantage, you are not able to make additional changes unless you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP). To find out more about the specific life events that could qualify you for a Special Enrollment Period, visit the Medicare.gov website.
What Happens if I Miss the Enrollment Period Deadline?
If you miss the entire Medicare open enrollment period for 2023, there is still potential to make changes to your care. Options for getting the changes made include the Medicare Advantage OEP (for those currently enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan) or by qualifying for a special enrollment period.
Do Most People Change Their Medicare Coverage During Open Enrollment?
According to research from the Kaiser Family Foundation, the majority of Medicare participants do not switch their Medicare plans during the OEP. Only 6% to 11% of Medicare Advantage beneficiaries change their plan.
Resources To Help With Medicare Enrollment
There are a variety of resources available to assist you with your Medicare enrollment.
- Medicare Savings Programs (MSPs) are financial assistance programs intended to help cover Medicare costs. It is open to low-income seniors and adults with disabilities who may qualify.
- Social Security Administration is the starting point for Medicare enrollments and offers many direct links to enrollment forms and other information.
- MedicareInteractive.org was created by the nonprofit Medicare Rights Center. It offers a broad spectrum of information on a variety of Medicare topics.
- Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is the federal program that runs Medicare. Their website features a lot of useful information to help you better understand the Medicare system.
Taking the time to better understand Medicare, strategize and plan ahead for the Medicare open enrollment period allows you to optimize your personal health care for the coming year.Last Modified: January 17, 2023
6 Cited Research Articles
- Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. (2022, October 5). The Inflation Reduction Act Lowers Health Care Costs for Millions of Americans. Retrieved from https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/fact-sheets/inflation-reduction-act-lowers-health-care-costs-millions-americans
- Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. (2022, September 27). 2023 Medicare Parts A & B Premiums and Deductibles 2023 Medicare Part D Income-Related Monthly Adjustment Amounts. Retrieved from https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/fact-sheets/2023-medicare-parts-b-premiums-and-deductibles-2023-medicare-part-d-income-related-monthly
- Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. (2021, December 1). Medicare Open Enrollment. Retrieved from https://www.cms.gov/Outreach-and-Education/Reach-Out/Find-tools-to-help-you-help-others/Medicare-Open-Enrollment
- Koma, W. et. al. (2019, December 1). No Itch to Switch: Few Medicare Beneficiaries Switch Plans During the Open Enrollment Period. Retrieved from https://www.kff.org/medicare/issue-brief/medicare-beneficiaries-rarely-change-their-coverage-during-open-enrollment/
- Medicare.gov. (n.d.). Joining a health or drug plan. Retrieved from https://www.medicare.gov/sign-up-change-plans/joining-a-health-or-drug-plan
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2022, September 29). Biden-Harris Administration Announces Lower Premiums for Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plans in 2023. Retrieved from https://www.hhs.gov/about/news/2022/09/29/biden-harris-administration-announces-lower-premiums-for-medicare-advantage-and-prescription-drug-plans-in-2023.html
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