Medicare Open Enrollment

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Medicare Open Enrollment Runs October 15th to December 7th

If you have Medicare, October 15th to December 7th is the time to review and make changes to your coverage options. You can:
  • Switch between Original Medicare and a Medicare Advantage Plan
  • Change to another Medicare Advantage Plan
  • Join or change Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans
You can make as many changes as needed during this time and the changes will take effect January 1, 2024.

Local assistance is available to help you navigate Medicare Open Enrollment. The Maryland State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP)​ offers free unbiased counseling in all 23 counties and Baltimore City. Call your local SHIP office to schedule an appointment. 

How to Prepare for Open Enrollment

  1. Review your current coverageYour plan will send you an Annual Notice of Change (ANOC) which lists the changes in your plan, such as the premium and copays, and will compare the benefits in 2024 with those in 2023. You should receive your plan’s ANOC by September 30.
  2. Consider what matters most to you. Medicare plans can change every year and so can your health needs. Is your new medication or physician covered by your current plan? Does another plan offer the same value at a lower cost? Take stock of your health status and determine if you need to make a change.
  3. Compare your options. Even if you are happy with your coverage, consider all your options since your current plan may not be your best choice for 2024. Shop around to find a plan that best meets your needs and budget. You can explore your coverage options with the Medicare Plan Finder​. The Medicare Plan Star Ratings can help you compare the quality of health and drug plans being offered. Five stars indicates excellent performance. 
  4. Find out if you qualify for help paying for Medicare. Learn about programs that help with the costs of Medicare, such as the Medicare Savings Program​, Part D Extra Help, and the Maryland Senior Prescription Drug Assistance Program.

What's New and Important for Medicare in 2024?

Save Money on Prescription Drugs
Starting January 1, 2024:
  • Medicare beneficiaries do not have to pay a copayment or coinsurance while in the catastrophic coverage phase. They reach the catastrophic coverage phase after paying $8,000 out of pocket on drugs (up from $7,400 in 2023).
  • Extra Help, a program that helps cover your Part D drug costs, will expand to cover drug costs for more people with limited resources and income.
  • Coinsurance amounts for some Part B-covered drugs may be less if a prescription drug's price increased higher than the rate of inflation.
Manage and Treat Chronic Pain
  • Medicare now covers monthly services to treat chronic pain if you've been living with it for more than 3 months.
Lower Costs for Insulin and Vaccines
  • The cost of a one-month supply of each Part D and Part B-covered insulin is capped at $35 and you don't have to pay a deductible for insulin.
  • Medicare beneficiaries with a drug plan will pay nothing out-of-pocket for adult vaccines recommended by the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization practices.
  • Medicare continues to cover the COVID-19 vaccine, and several tests and treatments to keep you and others safe.
Better Mental Health Care
Starting January 1, 2024: 
  • Medicare will cover intensive outpatient program services provided by hospitals, community mental health centers, and other locations.
More Opportunities to Sign up for Medicare
  • If you recently lost (or will soon lose) Medicaid, you may be able to sign up for Medicare or change your current Medicare coverage. There are also other special situations that allow you to sign up for Medicare.

Learn more about these other important changes in the Medicare & You 2024 Handbook.

Medicare Enrollment Fraud

  • Be aware of dishonest brokers. Medicare rules say that brokers are not allowed to call, email, or approach you in-person to market their plans unless you have given them permission in advance. Brokers are allowed to send advertising in the mail or respond to you if you contact them.
  • Protect your Medicare number. Medicare will never contact you to request your Medicare number, so never give your Medicare number or other personal information to an unexpected caller or someone who makes an unsolicited request for it.
  • Don’t let anyone rush you by claiming you need to act now for the best deal. During open enrollment, or at any time, you’re eligible to switch plans. You can take the full time allotted to make your decision. There are no early bird discounts or limited time offers.
  • Don’t let the “free” gift sway your decision. Providers are allowed to offer promotional items worth no more than $15, but these can’t be given on the condition that you enroll in a plan or share personal information.
  • Be suspicious of “cherry picking” tactics. Dishonest brokers sometimes attempt to enroll only healthier people who are likely to cost the health plan less​ money. This is against Medicare rules. For instance, they may offer free health screenings at an event to weed out less healthy candidates.
  • Review Medicare and health plan communications carefully. Alert your health plan if there are charges for services or equipment you didn’t receive or request.
  • Learn more about Medicare scams. You can find out more about common Medicare scam tactics, and how to protect yourself here. 

If you suspect any of these schemes, you can report it to 1-800-MEDICARE or call the Maryland Senior Medicare Patrol to help you recognize and report health care fraud, waste, abuse, or error.​​

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Videos to Help You Understand Medicare

Additional Resources

​Still have questions? Call your local SHIP Counselor:

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