There are certain times of each year when sign up for Medicare coverage takes place. Also at this time, changes can be made to any current Medicare coverage. For 2010, the open enrollment period for Medicare starts on November 15. For the next six weeks, coverage may be added, dropped entirely. Also at this time, Medicare coverage can be changed in a number of ways. Medicare recipients may switch between various plans with differing amounts of coverage in order to suit individual needs.
Open enrollment for Medicare ends on December 31, 2010. No changes can be made to coverage after this date unless a special life event occurs. Following the open enrollment period for Medicare, changes can only be made to Medicare coverage when a specified life event takes place. Events such as a move or the loss of other insurance coverage qualify for changes under special enrollment. Medicare should be consulted directly as rules for each special enrollment period are different and depend on individual situations.
All additions, deletions and/or changes made during the open enrollment period for Medicare from November 15 to December 31, 2010, go into effect on January 1. After January 1, 2011, participants will be locked into their selected plan with no changes to coverage allowed. Any changes made as a result of special enrollment are exempt from this date due to differing requirements. Changes that do not fall under special enrollment will have to wait until the next Medicare open enrollment period. This typically takes place in late fall of each year.