2017 Annual Enrollment Period: Making the Most of Your Senior Health Insurance

Updated on October 1, 2016

The time of year has come for travel, fall colors, decadent meals, and Medicare Advantage & Prescription Drug Plan Open Enrollment. Three out of the four should be a lot of fun. We’re here to help make sure that the fourth one doesn’t steal the show from the rest. We are going to cover the things you’ll need to get through this Annual Enrollment Period as easily as possible while getting the most out of your senior medical insurance!

Open Enrollment Period 2017: Oct 15th to Dec 7th

The Medicare Open Enrollment Period is between October 15th and December 7th. This is the time when you may sign up for Medicare Advantage or a Prescription Drug Plan, as well as add any plans you may want or remove any plans you no longer need. We went over a lot of the considerations you’ll need to make during the Annual Enrollment Period in our last post, Original Medicare vs Medicare Advantage.

Is the Open Enrollment Period the Only Time I Can Enroll?

In short, no. The Open Enrollment Period is not the only time you can enroll, as a new member just turning 65. It is, however, the time of year when you can make changes to your plan. So if you have already enrolled in Medicare, now would be the time that you could add a Medicare Advantage plan, or Prescription Drug (Part D) Insurance.

If you are brand new to Medicare, there is a seven-month window around turning 65 where you may enroll; three months before, three months after, and the month of your birthday is the block of time where you can go over your plan with a professional and custom tailor your plan to suit your specific needs. The Open Enrollment Period is the best time to get all of this taken care of. There is a great document from medicare.gov that goes into great detail about Initial and Annual Enrollment Periods.

What Changes Should I Consider?

While all of these options may make it seem like you’re swimming in information, they give you a great opportunity. You can custom tailor your plan to fit your needs. Thus, if you want to stick with Medicare, but you also want some additional prescription coverage, you could add Part D for that. If Original Medicare does not work for you, you can go with a Medicare Advantage plan. No matter what your needs are, you can make sure your plan meets them.

We still have a little time left before the 2017 Annual Enrollment Period starts. Take this time to consider your options and get a good idea of what your needs may be. There are quite a few government websites that go into great detail about all of your options. Medicare.gov is a good site to research any questions you may have. They have an extensive FAQ section as well as a few video guides to help you through the process!


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