blue bulletin from bcidaho

Medicare Open Enrollment Period

What that means for you and how you can take advantage of it

Need to make changes to your Medicare Advantage (MA) plan? The Open Enrollment Period (OEP) is the perfect time to do it. OEP runs from January 1 through March 31 every year. During this time, MA enrollees can review their plans and make changes if they would like. Keep in mind that you can only make one switch to a new plan during OEP.

medicare open enrollment periodWhat you need to know

What are my options during OEP?

During OEP, you can:

  • Switch back to original Medicare if you currently have an MA plan
  • Switch to a different MA plan

During OEP, you cannot:

  • Switch from original Medicare to an MA plan
  • Switch to a Part D prescription drug plan (PDP) if you're on original Medicare
  • Switch to an MA plan if you currently have a Medicare Supplement plan

You can get more information on switching plans by visiting

What if I like my plan and don’t want to switch?

If you are happy with your plan and don’t want to make any changes, you do not need to do anything and your plan will stay the same. If you do not make any changes, you will need to wait until the next Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) before you can make changes, unless you have a qualifying event.

Can I join an MA plan at other times during the year?

You can join an MA or Part D plan at other times of the year during what is called a Special Enrollment Period. You are eligible to enroll in a Special Enrollment Period under certain circumstances, including:

  • When you become eligible for Medicare
  • If you are on both Medicare and Medicaid
  • If your current plan is terminated
  • If you move to an area not served by your current plan
  • If you live in an area declared by FEMA as a State of Emergency

There are other situations where you may be eligible to enroll in a Special Enrollment Period that are not included in this list. For a more detailed list, visit the Special circumstances (Special Enrollment Periods) page on the Medicare site.

How can I make changes to my plan?

You can make changes to your plan by working with your broker. Working with a broker is free and comes at no cost to you. You can also call the Blue Cross of Idaho Customer Service Department at 1-888-494-2583 (TTY: 711). We are available seven days a week, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. from October 1 to March 31. April 1 to September 30, our hours are Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

When will my changes go into effect?

Your changes will be effective the following month after you submitted them.

How do I learn more about my benefits?

For an overview of your coverage and your plan, please call us at 888-492-2583 (TTY: 711).

You can also learn more about your MA plan benefits as a Blue Cross of Idaho member through one of our member Medicare Basics educational meetings. These meetings are open every Tuesday at 10 a.m. until March 31, 2023, in our district offices in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho Falls, Twin Falls, Pocatello and Meridian. Visit our Member Medicare Basics page for more information on these meetings.

You can find the benefits available to you under your plan by reviewing your Summary of Benefits in the information kit that is provided to you when you sign up for your plan. You can also view your Evidence of Coverage for your plan’s details.

More information

To find out more about your Blue Cross of Idaho and MA plan, visit


Posted: February 9, 2022

Updated: February 22, 2023