Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Ends March 31

Medicare Advantage enrollees have until March 31 to change plans.

Open enrollment concept with keywords and icons on a white background with colored pencils..
(Image credit: Tumsasedgars, Getty Images)

Calling all Medicare Advantage enrollees: If you're looking to switch plans, your deadline is March 31.

Medicare Advantage, also known as Medicare Part C, is private health insurance that has become so popular that more than half of seniors who are eligible for traditional Medicare now opt for this alternative, according to a recent report by healthcare advisory firm Chartis.

If you're already an Advantage enrollee, there are only two times a year — spring and fall — that you can switch from one plan to another or return to traditional Medicare.

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If you’re not already on an Advantage plan, however, you’ll need to wait for the fall Medicare open enrollment period. In addition, you can only join, switch or drop an Advantage plan or a Medicare drug plan (Part D) during open enrollment, according to Medicare

Even if you're happy with your plan, experts say the open enrollment period is a good time to review which Medicare Advantage plan is right for you.

Spring enrollment started in January and runs until March 31, while fall enrollment runs concurrently with Medicare's open enrollment period, from October 15 to December 7.

While the best plan will depend on each individual's needs, there have been a slew of Advantage plans introduced in the last year alone — each touting various features — and so, choosing a plan can be overwhelming. 

There are a number of things to consider. For example, the majority of beneficiaries were satisfied overall with their plans, but some found challenges, according to a Retirement Living survey of 351 Advantage beneficiaries. Respondents reported issues over telehealth services, overbilling, online and mobile app access and more.

According to, which provides consumer information about Medicare, as you consider changing your coverage:

  • Find out if your preferred providers are still in-network.
  • Check on whether the prescription drugs you need are now a more expensive tier.
  • Compare premiums and drug costs among the various Advantage plans.
  • Check to see if your plan offers the perks that matter most to you.

There is also a monthly cost of Advantage plans, which can vary widely. While many Advantage beneficiaries enroll in zero-premium plans, some select plans with higher premiums that have more favorable out-of-pocket costs or because they want to be in a specific provider's network. 

Advantage enrollees who move outside of their plan's service area will need to enroll in a plan that is within their new service area.

In addition, while Advantage enrollment is up, growth is slowing as the marketplace is at an inflection point, according to the Chartis report. While the growth trend will likely continue, Advantage also faces regulatory scrutiny and other headwinds.

To help you explore options, you can find more information on Medicare plan finder, a government website designed to help you search for Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D plans within your zip code.

You can also visit or call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) for information on plans available in your area.


Keerthi Vedantam

Keerthi Vedantam is a reporter covering finance, tech and science. She previously covered biotech and health at Crunchbase News and enterprise technology at Business Insider.

With contributions from