The Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period (MAOEP)—happening now—has a few key differences from the Annual Enrollment Period that ended a month ago. Starting January 1 and ending March 31, beneficiaries enrolled in a Medicare Advantage (MA) Plan can switch to another MA Plan with or without drug coverage.

Beneficiaries also have the option to drop their current MA Plan and return to Original Medicare (they retain the option to join a Medicare drug plan), however they cannot switch from Original Medicare to an MA Plan.

If someone opts for a stand-alone drug plan, or Part D Plan, they are automatically disenrolled from their MA Plan and enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B. They cannot switch Part D Plans during MAOEP.

In other words, the MAOEP is strictly for beneficiaries currently enrolled in an MA Plan. Only one change can be made during this period. Once that election has been selected, they cannot make another change until the next AEP unless they qualify for a Special Election Period (SEP). Any changes made during MAOEP will go into effect the following month.

Keep in mind, agents are prohibited from knowingly targeting or sending unsolicited marketing materials to any MA enrollee or Part D enrollee during MAOEP. That means agents should not:

  1. Send unsolicited materials advertising the option or opportunity to make an additional enrollment change or referencing MAOEP.
  2. Specifically, target beneficiaries who are enrolled in an MA program by purchasing mailing lists or other means of identification.
  3. Engage in or promote agent/broker activities that intend to target the MAOEP as an opportunity to make further sales.
  4. Call or otherwise contact former enrollees who have selected a new plan during AEP.

Agents can, however, conduct marketing activities that focus on other enrollment opportunities, including:

  1. Marketing to people during their Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) who have not made an enrollment decision already.
  2. Marketing to beneficiaries enrolled in 5-star MA Plans regarding their continuous enrollment SEP.
  3. Marketing to dual-eligible and low income subsidy (LIS) beneficiaries who, in general, may make changes once per calendar quarter during the first nine months of the year.
  4. Send marketing materials when a beneficiary makes a proactive request.
  5. At the beneficiary’s request, have one-on-one meetings.
  6. At the beneficiary’s request, provide information on the MAOEP through a call center.

Note: The unintentional receipt of other marketing materials by beneficiaries who have already made an enrollment decision is not considered knowingly targeting. For example, if an agent sends a mailer about the IEP to a list of people aging into Medicare, the mail might inadvertently go to people who have already made an enrollment decision. However, the content of the message to the intended audience is not prohibited MAOEP marketing.


*For licensed agent use only. Not for use with consumers. B01062102