Humana Open Enrollment for Medicare

Christian Worstell
In this article...
  • Learn about Humana Medicare open enrollment periods and how you can best navigate these periods to enroll in the coverage of your choice.

Many Humana Medicare beneficiaries or those who are interested in finding Humana Medicare Advantage plans or Humana Part D Medicare prescription drug plans may be able to sign up for their coverage during the annual fall Medicare open enrollment period, which lasts from October 15 to December 7 each year.

If you’re interested in comparing Humana Medicare Supplement plans and applying for a plan, you can do so at any time of the year, though there are certain times that are better to apply. It’s important to note that you can’t have a Medicare Supplement plan and a Medicare Advantage plan at the same time.

If this seems confusing, keep reading below for the information you need to navigate the Humana open enrollment process so you can get the best health insurance benefits for your needs. 

Does Humana Have Open Enrollment?

Humana does not conduct its own Medicare open enrollment period, nor does any other private Medicare insurance company. Humana and all other insurance companies selling Medicare plans participate in the Medicare fall open enrollment period, also called the Annual Enrollment Period, or AEP. 

The fall Medicare open enrollment period begins Oct. 15 and ends Dec. 7 every year. For many Medicare beneficiaries, this period signals the only time of year they can make changes to their coverage.

The actions you can perform during AEP include:

  • Changing from Original Medicare to a Humana Medicare Advantage plan
  • Adding a Humana Medicare Part D plan to your Original Medicare coverage
  • Switching from one Humana Medicare Advantage plan to another
  • Switching from one Humana Part D plan to another
  • Dropping a Humana Medicare Advantage or Part D plan

Any changes you make to your Humana coverage during the fall open enrollment period will become effective Jan. 1 of the upcoming year and remain in effect throughout the calendar year. 

The fall Medicare open enrollment period does not apply to Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) plans from Humana or any other carrier. As mentioned above, you may apply for a Medigap plan any time of the year, though your best time to apply is during your Medigap Open Enrollment Period, which is a six-month period that starts as soon as you are at least 65 years old and enrolled in Medicare Part B.

Is There a Grace Period for Medicare Open Enrollment?

Dec. 7 is a hard deadline for the fall Medicare open enrollment period. To make any changes during this time, they must be made by the close of business on Dec. 7.

However, there is a grace period of sorts for those with Medicare Advantage plans. The Medicare Advantage open enrollment period (not to be confused with the fall open enrollment period) runs from Jan. 1 through March 31 each year. During this time, Medicare Advantage plan holders may switch from one Medicare Advantage plan to another or drop their plan and return to Original Medicare. 

If you have a Medicare Advantage plan but fail to make any changes during AEP, the Medicare Advantage open enrollment period serves as a second chance to get the coverage that better fits your needs. Or, if you enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan during AEP but have second thoughts, this enrollment period provides you with an opportunity to undo your decision.   

What Is ICEP Enrollment?

ICEP enrollment is your “initial coverage enrollment period,” which is very similar to your Medicare Initial Enrollment Period.

Your Medicare IEP is your Medicare Initial Enrollment Period. This is the first time that you can enroll in Original Medicare, Part A and Part B.

Your Medicare IEP and your Medicare ICEP are very similar and often happen during roughly the same period.

If you enroll in Medicare Part A and Part B when you turn 65, your ICEP will run concurrently with your IEP. Your IEP is an enrollment period that begins three months before you turn 65, includes the month of your birthday and continues for three more months, for a total of seven months.

Medicare Part B is optional, and some people choose to delay their Part B enrollment. If you do not sign up for Part B during your IEP but then sign up for it later on, your ICEP will begin three months before your Part B coverage is set to begin, and it will end on the last day of the month before your Part B coverage begins.

Am I Eligible for a Special Enrollment Period?

A Special Enrollment Period (SEP) is an enrollment period that is only granted to Medicare beneficiaries who experience a qualifying life event, or “special” circumstance. Each SEP may come with its own rules about the types of changes you can make to your coverage, but the changes you can make during a Special Enrollment Period are typically similar those you can make during AEP.

The duration of an SEP may also differ from case to case. Some of the circumstances that can qualify you for a Special Enrollment Period include:

  • Moving to a new address that is outside the service area of your current plan or presents new plan options
  • Moving back to the U.S. after living in another country
  • Being released from jail
  • Moving into, living in or moving out of a skilled nursing facility or other institution
  • Losing or gaining Medicaid eligibility
  • Leaving employer coverage
  • Involuntarily losing coverage

The above examples are just a sample of the many different circumstances that may qualify you for a Special Enrollment Period.  

Does Humana Replace Medicare?

It can be said that a Humana Medicare Advantage plan “replaces” Medicare in a sense. You will still be technically enrolled in Original Medicare and must continue to pay your Medicare Part B premiums, as Original Medicare enrollment is a requirement for Medicare Advantage enrollment. This is true not just for Humana but for all Medicare Advantage plans provided by all insurance carriers. 

But while you will still be technically enrolled in Original Medicare, your benefits will come from your Humana Medicare Advantage plan. 

In the case of a Humana Medicare Part D plan, your Humana plan is not replacing your Original Medicare coverage. Medicare Part D plans provide coverage for prescription drug coverage and are used in addition to your Original Medicare benefits. 

What Is the Humana Enrollment Phone Number? 

You can call to speak with a licensed insurance agent to learn about the Humana Medicare Advantage plans available where you live and to enroll in the plan of your choosing. If you are already enrolled in a Humana plan, call the phone number on your plan ID card or log into your MyHumana online account for help with your benefits. 

Christian Worstell
About the Author

Christian Worstell is a senior Medicare and health insurance writer with HelpAdivsor.com. He is also a licensed health insurance agent. Christian is well-known in the insurance industry for the thousands of educational articles he’s written, helping Americans better understand their health insurance and Medicare coverage.

Christian’s work as a Medicare expert has appeared in several top-tier and trade news outlets including Forbes, MarketWatch, WebMD and Yahoo! Finance.

While at HelpAdvisor, Christian has written hundreds of articles that teach Medicare beneficiaries the best practices for navigating Medicare. His articles are read by thousands of older Americans each month. By better understanding their health care coverage, readers may hopefully learn how to limit their out-of-pocket Medicare spending and access quality medical care.

Christian’s passion for his role stems from his desire to make a difference in the senior community. He strongly believes that the more beneficiaries know about their Medicare coverage, the better their overall health and wellness is as a result.

A current resident of Raleigh, Christian is a graduate of Shippensburg University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. You can find Christian’s most recent articles in our blog.

If you’re a member of the media looking to connect with Christian, please don’t hesitate to email our public relations team at Mike@MyHelpAdvisor.com.

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