You Missed Medicare Annual Open Enrollment — Now What?

There are limited ways you can change your Original Medicare elections after annual open enrollment has closed.

Closeup of Medicare enrollment form and pen
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Open enrollment for Medicare runs every year from October 15 through December 7. If you failed to make or change an election by the deadline, you are mostly stuck with that election for the year. There are only limited opportunities for Original Medicare beneficiaries to make coverage changes after that period ends. It will typically depend on circumstances and if you qualify for the special enrollment period.   

You may qualify for the general enrollment period if you missed your initial Medicare enrollment window to enroll in Medicare Parts A and B. If you are enrolling in Medicare for the first time during the general enrollment period your coverage will begin July 1, and you may have to pay a late enrollment penalty. 

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Donna LeValley
Personal Finance Writer

Donna joined Kiplinger as a personal finance writer in 2023. She spent more than a decade as the contributing editor of J.K.Lasser's Your Income Tax Guide and edited state specific legal treatises at ALM Media. She has shared her expertise as a guest on Bloomberg, CNN, Fox, NPR, CNBC and many other media outlets around the nation.