Eligibility and timing

Depending on your circumstances, there are different time periods that you can enroll in Medicare. Learn about them below.

Initial enrollment period

You can enroll in Medicare during your initial enrollment period, which is three months before your 65th birthday, your birthday month and three months after. If you are under age 65, you may be able to enroll if you have a qualifying event. It’s important that you know that there may be penalties if you do not enroll. If you decide to delay enrollment, you may have to pay a lifetime late enrollment penalty.

Special enrollment period

If you have a qualifying event, you may qualify for special enrollment. You can use special enrollment to enroll in Medicare or make changes to your existing Medicare coverage. Qualifying events can include:

  • Change of address to a different service area
  • Losing current insurance or drug coverage
  • Anytime you have a chance to get coverage from an employer, union or program
  • If Medicare changes its contract with your plan, making coverage unavailable

There are other qualifying events. To learn more, visit medicare.gov.

Annual enrollment periods

If you are already enrolled in Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage or a stand-alone prescription drug plan; you can make changes to your coverage during the annual enrollment period. Annual enrollment is Oct. 15 — Dec. 7 every year. During annual enrollment:

Original Medicare members can:

  • Change to a Medicare Advantage plan

Medicare Advantage members can:

  • Change Medicare Advantage plans
  • Return to Original Medicare

Open enrollment period

If you are already enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, you can make changes to your coverage from Jan. 1 to March 31 every year. Medicare Advantage members can:

  • Change Medicare Advantage plans
  • Return to Original Medicare

Medicare Supplement enrollment periods

You get a 6 month “Medigap Open Enrollment” period, which starts the first month you have Medicare Part B and you’re 65 or older. During this time, you can enroll in any Medigap policy and the insurance company can’t deny you coverage due to pre-existing health problems. After this period, you may not be able to buy a Medigap policy, or it may cost more. Your Medigap Open Enrollment Period is a one-time enrollment.  It doesn’t repeat every year, like the Medicare Open Enrollment Period.


If you're not a member please call our Moda Health Sales team at 844-274-9122 or MedicareSales@modahealth.com.

If you’re a member please call our Moda Health Customer Service at 503-265-4762 or toll-free at 877-299-9062. TTY users, dial 711. Customer Service is available from 7 a.m.– 8 p.m. (Pacific Time), seven days a week October 1 – March 31 (closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas), and weekdays April 1 – September 30. Your call will be handled by our automated phone systems outside business hours.

Last updated Oct. 1, 2023

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