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En español | Open enrollment (Oct. 15 to Dec. 7) is a period each year when you can change from one Part D drug plan to another, or switch other types of coverage (for example, from one Medicare Advantage plan to another, or from Medicare Advantage to original Medicare or vice versa). 

You may also qualify for a special enrollment period to change to a different Part D drug plan at other times of the year in these situations: 

  • If you qualify for Extra Help (which provides low-cost Part D coverage to people with limited incomes), you can join a Part D drug plan or switch to another at any time of the year.
  • If you need to stay in a nursing home for long-term care, you can join a Part D drug plan or switch to another when you enter the home, once a month while living at the home, or once within two months after leaving it. 
  • If you move outside of your current drug plan’s service area (which means to another state if you’re enrolled in a stand-alone Part D plan), you can sign up with any plan offered in your new location, either before or within two months of the move.
  • If your current Part D plan withdraws service from your area, you can switch to another plan before or when your current coverage ends.
  • If you want to switch to a Part D plan or a Medicare Advantage plan that has earned Medicare’s highest quality rating (five stars) — if one is available in your area — you can do so once at any time of the year, except for one week (Nov. 30 to Dec. 8).
  • If a plan violates its contract with you, or you joined a plan on the basis of erroneous information provided by the plan or its agents, you can ask Medicare to investigate; if Medicare agrees, you can switch to another plan at that time. 
  • If a federal employee made a mistake when processing your enrollment or disenrollment in a plan, you get a two-month special enrollment period (SEP) to switch to another plan if Medicare approves your claim.

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