In past years, you could change your mind if you discovered that the Medicare Advantage Plan you joined during open enrollment (between November 15 and December 31) wasn’t exactly what you wanted. When you enroll at the end of 2010, you’ll have a lot fewer options next year.
You will no longer be allowed to switch from Original Medicare to one of the Medicare Advantage Plans or change from one Advantage Plan to a different one. You can no longer drop, join or change Medicare Medical Savings Account Plans either.
Between January 1 and February 14, 2011, you will be able to drop an Advantage Plan and change to Original Medicare. You may also join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan at that time, but that is all.
Ask a lot of questions about Medicare Advantage Plans before you enroll. What prescription drugs are covered? Which doctors and hospitals will you be able to see for non-emergency and non-urgent care? You can learn more about Medicare Advantage Plans at

Wiley Long is founder and president of Medigap Advisors, and is passionate about helping people navigate the confusing waters of Medicare. He is the author of The Medicare Playbook: Designing Your Successful Health Coverage Strategy, a clear and simple explanation so you can make the most of your Medicare coverage. For more information visit