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Medicare Enrollment Starts October 15
October 15, 2014

From October 15th to December 7th those who are enrolled with Medicare or wish to be have the opportunity to apply or make changes to their current policy.

Why is this time period so Important?

For any pending changes, a beneficiary should receive an “Annual Notice of Change” (ANOC). Most people will receive this document in the fall. Take time to review these changes and be aware of which plans they effect and the benefits and disadvantages that these changes provide. It’s nice to keep up on what these changes are, what they mean and how they affect you. Whether you are happy with your Medicare plan, the changes made to your plan may change that. Also please note when these changes take effect to make sure your coverage needs are well, covered. Most people do not take an annual look at their Medicare Plans and should. Doing so may save you money and open you up to additional benefits you weren’t aware of. Medicare Part D is anticipated to increase by 4% from 2014 rates. For Medicare Advantage, almost just as many Plans are being discontinued as new plans being created while 84% of those plans in 2015 will be the same as 2014.

Why do plans change?

Plans in all states except for Arkansas and Wyoming will have some change in plan offerings in 2015. Medicare Advantage Plans enter and exit for a variety of reason including: business strategies, market condition, and profitability. When changes happen Medicare Advantage plan beneficiaries have the option to switch to another Medicare Advantage plan offered in their area or get coverage under traditional Medicare, those who take advantage of choosing Medicare as a replacement for their discontinued advantage plan have a special open enrollment period for Medigap policies.

Finding a plan

Medicare’s website provides a great plan finder based on your location and needs. If part of your Medicare is being discontinued or you are curious about your options you can find a plan on Medicare’s website.

You may also find a Medicare specialist in your area.

Recurring Enrollment Periods

October 15th to December 7th these changes can be made:

  • Change from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C).
  • Change from a Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C) back to Original Medicare.
  • Switch from one Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C) to another Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C)
  • Switch from a Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C) that doesn’t offer drug coverage to a Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C) that offers drug coverage.
  • Switch from a Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C) that does offer drug coverage to a Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C) that doesn’t offers drug coverage.
  • Join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan.
  • Switch from one Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (Part D) to another Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (Part D).
  • Drop your Medicare Prescription Drug coverage (Part D) completely.

January 1st to February 14th these changes can be made: 

  • Change Medicare Advantage Plans to switch to Original Medicare. Changes will begin the first day of the following month.

If you switch to Original Medicare during this period, you will have until February 14th to also join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan to add drug coverage. Changes will begin the first day of the following month after the plan gets your enrollment form.

What you CAN’T do during this period:

  • Switch from Original Medicare to Medicare Advantage Plan.
  • Switch from one Medicare Advantage Plan to another.
  • Switch from one Medicare Prescription Drug Plan to another.
  • Join, switch or drop a Medicare Medical Savings.



Previous Articles

2014 October 10 Advanced Directives, Fiduciaries, Guardianship, and Power of Attorney
2014 August 25 10 Tips to Keep in Mind While Helping Aging Parents
2014 July 30 Guide to Long Term Care Planning
2014 June 25 Understanding the Issues Facing Aging Seniors
2014 May 6 Growing Problem Facing Seniors: Reduced Spending Power
2014 April 10 Caring for Your Grandchildren
2014 March 25 Living Arrangements for Aging Seniors
2014 February 17 Preserving Assets and Transferring Assets to the Next Generation
2014 January 17 Care Management Advice
2013 December 30 Holiday Caregiver Burnout
2013 December 6 The Beginning of the End-Of-Life Planning
2013 November 11 Holiday Blues - Depression among the Elderly
2013 October 24 Medicare Open Enrollment Starts October 15
2013 October 17 Home Repair Loan and Grant Program
2013 October 9 Speak Out Against Elder Abuse
2013 September 9 Leaving This World Alone
2013 August 13 Healthy Living and Successful Aging
2013 July 11 The Accidental Caregiver
2013 June 5 Social Security – A Safety Net for Retired Americans, their Survivors, and the Disabled
2013 April 2 Benefits for Senior Veterans
2013 February 4 Family Matters
2013 January 8 Life Resource Planning Meets Needs beyond Retirement
2012 December 6 Dying With Debt
2012 November 13 Invisible Heroes
2012 October 8 The Great American Tragedy: Homelessness Among Our Veterans
2012 September 10 Healthy Aging – Physically, Mentally and Financially
2012 August 1 A Cost-Effective Way to Acquire New Clients or Customers
2012 July 7 Heat Wave Puts Elderly at Risk
2012 June 6 A Cheaper Alternative for Respite (Adult Day Care)
2012 April 12 Will the Government Pay for My Long Term Care?
2012 Mar 8 Senior Home Owners Find Financial Resource in Reverse Mortgages
2012 Jan 11 Is Insurance the Answer to Long Term Care Planning?
2011 Dec 12 Recognizing the Need for outside Help in Caregiving
2011 Nov 7 Celebrating Family Caregivers - National Caregivers Month
2011 Oct 10 Can I Get Paid to Care for a Senior Family Member?
2011 Sep 6 Expert Help Available for Seniors on the Move
2011 Aug 8 Social Support Activities Lead to Better Quality of Life As One Ages
2011 July 7 It Has Been a Year Since We Filed for Aid & Attendance for My Father
2011 June 6 How To Protect The Family Home From Medicaid Recovery
2011 May 5 Downsizing, Organizing, Handicap Remodeling or Relocating
2011 April 11 Using Your Home Equity for Long Term Care
2011 March 9 Choosing Home Care Services That Meet Your Needs
2011 February 7 Somebody's Sweetheart
2011 January 7 Working with Elder Parents in Planning Financially for their Long Term Care
2010 December 8 The Perfect Holiday Caregiver: It's all a state of mind
2010 November 5 Choices for End-of Life Caregiving
2010 October 6 Legal Issues with Veterans Benefits
2010 September 8 Helping Your Elderly Parent with COPD Related Depression
2010 August 9 Getting Your Affairs In Order
2010 July 8 Applying for the Veteran's Aid and Attendance Pension: My Personal Experience
2010 June 8 Recognizing Symptoms of Dementia
2010 May 5 The Financial Health of Aging Seniors
2010 April 7 Vitamins and Mineral Supplements Are Important for Older People
2010 Mar 8 Employer Support for Care Giving Employees
2010 Feb 7 Caring for Senior Veterans - VA LTC Benefits
2010 Jan 10 Elder Law Attorneys Specialize in Helping the Elderly
2009 Dec 09 Who Was Supposed to be Watching Grandma?
2009 Nov 11 Long Term Care for Senior Veterans
2009 Oct 13 Planning for Your Elder Years
2009 Sep 24 Pre Need (Pre-Paid) Funeral and Burial Plans
2009 Sep 9 Medication Problems and the Elderly
2009 Aug 20 Community Aging Services and Senior Centers
2009 Aug 6 One-Stop Shopping for Elder Care Services
2009 Jul 9 Family Reunion--a Good Time for Family Planning
2009 Jun 25 Putting Home Care in Perspective
2009 Jun 4 The Hidden Secret of Elder Abuse
2009 May 20 Government Program Pays Family for Care
2009 May 5 Keeping Mom and Dad Safe at Home
2009 Apr 23 Helping Your Older Parents Stay Happy & Healthy
2009 Apr 8 Long Distance Care Givers Receive Help
2009 Mar 17 Government Program Pays the Cost of Elder Care
2009 Feb 26 Nursing Homes for Veterans
2009-Feb 12 Insuring Your Retirement Funds
2009-Jan 29 Finding a One-Stop Shop Solution
2009-Jan 15 New Years Resolution – Plan for Long Term Care

The NCPC has been publishing articles since 2006. To access articles written earlier than 2009, please visit the member section.

Books from the National Care Planning Council


"How to Deal with 21 Critical Issues Facing Aging Seniors" This book takes a comprehensive approach to provide solutions to the many challenges that face the elderly.

"The 4 Steps of Long Term Care Planning" This book presents a unique approach to helping the public understand the need for and the process of planning for eldercare.

"How to Apply for Department of Veterans Affairs Benefits for Senior Veterans and Their Survivors" (2014 Edition) This book is a welcome and needed resource for veterans and their families. It provides information and detailed instructions on how to submit claims for 25 different types VA benefits and uses the successful "Fully Developed Claim Process" for faster and better decisions.

"Protecting Assets from Nursing Home Costs - Medicaid Secrets" The full title of this book from attorney Gabriel Heiser is "How to Protect Your Family's Assets from Devastating Nursing Home Costs -- Medicaid Secrets.

"Aid & Attendance Handbook for Professionals" (2012 Edition) A handbook for professionals and care providers to help their clients obtain the aid and attendance benefit.

Life Resource Planning


The National Care Planning Council (NCPC) has developed a fee based planning system for professionals to help their senior clients create a plan for their long term care. A “Life Resource Plan” is personalized advice and solutions for your elderly client. After you gather specific information from them, we will create the plan in a binder for you to present to your client. You will collect a fee for the advice and solutions the plan offers.

The Veterans Benefits Consultant's Package


Through years of experience in long term care planning, we have discovered highly effective ways for professionals assisting veterans & their families to be successful.

This Support for Those Who Help Veterans offers essential training, marketing solutions, & business strategies for attorneys, financial practitioners, care providers and facilities to:

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