Change Medicare plans to meet your needs

Life often changes, and sometimes the coverage you chose when you first enrolled in Medicare may not be what’s best for you now. You might be planning for a surgery, experiencing changes in your lifestyle or adjusting your budget to better manage health care costs. 

No matter the reason, if you’re ready to explore new Medicare options, you may be able to switch to a different plan.

When you can change Medicare plans

The best time to switch your Medicare plan depends on your situation and the kind of coverage you have. Review the enrollment periods and special circumstances below to find the right time to make a change.

Each year during the AEP, you can make changes to your Medicare coverage for the following year. You can:

  • Switch to a different Medicare Advantage, Medicare Cost or standalone Part D plan
  • Enroll in a Medicare Advantage, Medicare Cost or standalone Part D plan for the first time
  • Drop your Medicare Advantage, Medicare Cost or standalone Part D plan and go back to Original Medicare. You can then choose to apply for a Medicare Supplement plan.

If you have a Medicare Advantage plan, then during the annual Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period, you can:

  • Switch to a different Medicare Advantage plan
  • Drop your Medicare Advantage plan and go back to Original Medicare. You can then choose to apply for a Medicare Supplement plan or standalone Part D plan.

If you have Medicaid (called Medical Assistance in Minnesota) and are eligible for Medicare Parts A and B, you can enroll in a plan that combines your coverage. In Minnesota, this plan is called Minnesota Senior Health Options (MSHO), and it includes medical, Part D prescription drug, dental and long-term care coverage, plus extra benefits.

You can enroll in or change an MSHO plan:

  • When you become eligible for both Medical Assistance and Original Medicare (Parts A and B)
  • Once each quarter (January through September)
  • During annual open enrollment (October 15 through December 7)

Generally, the plan will be effective the first day of the month after you enroll. If you sign up during the Annual Enrollment Period, your plan will be effective January 1 of the next year.

Certain life events may qualify you for a Special Enrollment Period when you can change your Medicare Advantage plan, Medicare Cost plan, Medicare Supplement plan or standalone Part D plan. Examples of these events include:

  • Switching to a 5-Star plan, like our Medicare Advantage and Cost plans which received an overall Medicare Star Rating of 5 out of 5 for 2022 – the highest score possible.
  • Moving outside of your current plan’s service area
  • Your plan ending, ceasing to serve the area where you live or significantly reducing its provider network
  • Qualifying for assistance from the Medicare Extra Help program

A HealthPartners Medicare plan gives you flexible options for all of life’s adventures. Explore the features and benefits that come with our Medicare plans to find the best fit for you.

Legal information

Every year, Medicare evaluates plans based on a 5-star rating system.

Last updated October 2021

H2422_001601 Approved 10/1/2021
H2462 H4882_001601 Accepted