How to Switch Medicare Advantage Plans

Most people have to wait until open enrollment season to change Medicare Advantage plans. But you still have time to switch to traditional Medicare.

I signed up for a new Medicare Advantage plan this year but discovered that some of the doctors I want to use aren't included. Is it too late to switch to another plan?

You generally can't switch from one Medicare Advantage plan to another until open enrollment for 2016, which is October 15 to December 7. There are a few exceptions, such as if you move to an address that isn't in your plan's service area. See the Special Enrollment Periods fact sheet at for a full list of special circumstances that let you switch plans outside of open enrollment.

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Kimberly Lankford
Contributing Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance

As the "Ask Kim" columnist for Kiplinger's Personal Finance, Lankford receives hundreds of personal finance questions from readers every month. She is the author of Rescue Your Financial Life (McGraw-Hill, 2003), The Insurance Maze: How You Can Save Money on Insurance -- and Still Get the Coverage You Need (Kaplan, 2006), Kiplinger's Ask Kim for Money Smart Solutions (Kaplan, 2007) and The Kiplinger/BBB Personal Finance Guide for Military Families. She is frequently featured as a financial expert on television and radio, including NBC's Today Show, CNN, CNBC and National Public Radio.