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Enrollment Periods Explained

Have you heard the terms ‘SEP,’ ‘AEP,’ or ‘OEP’ and understood the meaning behind them? We are going to reveal what each of these abbreviations mean and what time of the year they take place.


· Initial Enrollment Period (IEP): For Medicare Advantage or Part D plans, these are the three months before, the month of and three months after you turn 65 or become eligible for Medicare

· Annual Enrollment Period (AEP): During this time you can choose or make changes to your Medicare Advantage plan or Part D coverage. This takes place October 15 – December 7 each year.

· Open enrollment period – January 1-March 31 People who have a Medicare Advantage plan can make a change to a different plan or, drop a Medicare Advantage Plan and go back to original Medicare.

Individual & Family:

· Special Enrollment Period (SEP): If you have a special situation you may be able to enroll in a new health care plan outside of the regular enrollment period.

· Open Enrollment Period (OEP): This is the time of the year you can get a health care plan through the state or federal exchanges, or enroll in a new plan should your current plan not meet your needs. OEP is November 1 – January 15 each year.

It’s easy to think that you can switch your health insurance plan at any time of the year like you can your home or auto insurance, but that is not the case. It is important to know when you can get health care coverage and reasons that will qualify you for a new health insurance plan.

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