Do You Have To Enroll in Medicare Every Year?

Written by Ari ParkerUpdated: Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Many working Americans need to enroll or re-enroll in their healthcare plan each year during Open Enrollment. But Medicare works differently. Generally, you continue to receive coverage year after year as long as you continue to pay your premiums.

So, why do you keep hearing that it’s time to enroll in Medicare each year even though you’re already enrolled?

Medicare plans can change, and so can your health. That’s why you are able to change your Part C (Medicare Advantage) and Part D (prescription drug coverage) plans once annually during the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period, which lasts from October 15 - December 7. During this time you can also switch from a Medicare Advantage plan back to Original Medicare.

Note: If you’re enrolled in a Medicare Supplement plan, you can choose to change your plan at any time, but you will likely need to undergo medical underwriting and may not be accepted into a new plan. 

Around the Annual Enrollment Period, you’ll probably receive several phone calls and emails from people and companies encouraging you to evaluate your Medicare coverage and consider switching to a better plan. 

This is because while you do not have to change or re-enroll in Medicare every year, you do have the option to.

Why would I want to enroll in a new Medicare plan?

Finding a Medicare plan can be a frustrating and overwhelming experience for many. You might be thinking: why would I want to go through picking a plan again?

Medicare beneficiaries have been able to save thousands of dollars per year by finding a plan better suited to them. We were able to help save one beneficiary an estimated $47k+ per year by switching her to a plan with better coverage of the prescriptions and services she needed. Getting the best recommendation is easy with Chapter because Chapter Advisors use our platform to quickly search through and compare all plans available to you. They’ll make sure you can still see your preferred doctors and that you’re receiving the right medical and prescription drug coverage for your specific needs. 

If you know you picked the best plan for you when you initially enrolled, there are still two big reasons to consider shopping around. 

1. Many insurance companies make changes to their plans each year

These changes can include:

  • Premium increases

  • Doctors joining or leaving the network

  • Coverage for specific prescriptions and services

  • Additions to the benefits package

No one wants to go to the doctor for a regular visit to find that their doctor is no longer in-network. You should be aware of any changes made to your plans each year to ensure you can keep seeing the same doctors and get the same coverage for prescriptions and procedures. 

2. Your healthcare needs change as you age

It’s no secret that, as we age, we experience more health issues. If you require more services or prescriptions than when you enrolled in your current Medicare coverage, you should take a look at your options to ensure you’re receiving best coverage for your current needs.


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