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When to Join, Switch, or Drop
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Join, switch, or drop a Medicare drug plan at these times: 

• During the initial enrollment period which begins 3 months before the month an individual turns age 65, the month of the 65th birthday, and 3 months after the birthday month, for a total of 7 months.

• Medicare eligibility due to disability, you can join during the 3 months before to 3 months after your 25th month of disability. You will have another chance to join 3 months before the month you turn age 65 to 3 months after the month you turn age 65.

• November 15–December 31 each year; coverage will begin on January 1 of the following year, as long as the plan receives the enrollment request by December 31.

• January 1–March 31 of each year if the senior is switching from one Medicare prescription drug plan to another.

• Anytime, if a senior qualifies for Extra Help or has both Medicare and Medicaid. 

In most cases, enrollment is in effect for the calendar year starting the date coverage begins. However, in certain situations, (such as moving out of the service area, losing other creditable prescription drug coverage, or living in an institution) seniors are able to join, switch, or drop Medicare drug plans during a special enrollment period. For more information, call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) or the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP). 
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