Browser Upgrade Recommended

We have noticed that you are using a browser that will prevent you from accessing all of the features on this website. We recommend that you update your browser to improve your experience.

Medicare Advantage inquiries call 1-800-930-2836 (TTY 711)

Medicare Supplement inquiries call 1-833-922-2893

Enrollment Periods

These enrollment periods apply only to Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage plans and Medicare-approved prescription drug plans. With Medicare Supplement insurance policies, you can enroll at any time, but the best time is during your Initial Enrollment Period.

Couple walking on beach
  • Initial Enrollment Period
    • The Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) is the time during which a person who is newly eligible for Medicare may make an initial enrollment request to enroll in Original Medicare, a Medicare Supplement plan, a Medicare Advantage (MA) plan or a Medicare Prescription Drug plan.
    • For most people, the IEP is the seven-month period that begins three months before you turn 65, includes the month you turn 65, and ends three months after the month you turn 65.
    • If you’re disabled and have been receiving disability benefits for 24 months, you’ll automatically get Parts A and B beginning on the first day of the 25th month of disability. If you’re not receiving disability benefits, you may enroll during the three-month period prior to the 25th month of disability, the 25th month of disability, and the three-month period after the 25th month.
    • If you don’t enroll in Part B when you’re first eligible, you can enroll between January 1 and March 31 each year, during the General Enrollment Period. However, you may have to pay a late enrollment penalty unless you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP).
    • If you delay enrolling in Part B because you have group health coverage based on current employment, you’re entitled to an SEP at any time during which you may enroll in Part B. You may also enroll in Part B during an eight-month SEP beginning the month after your employment ends or the group health coverage ends, whichever happens first, and will usually not have to pay a late enrollment penalty.
    • For Part D coverage, if you join after your IEP, the government may charge you a late enrollment penalty. This penalty may be waived if you can show you had prescription drug coverage that was as good as or better than Medicare Part D coverage.

    Plan Satisfaction

    Beneficiaries who enroll in a BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Medicare Advantage (MA) plan during the IEP can disenroll at any time within the first 12 months of coverage and return to Original Medicare and enroll in a prescription drug plan, or apply for a Medicare Supplement insurance policy.

    Additionally, the Medicare Open Enrollment Period (OEP) runs January 1 to March 31 each year and allows eligible beneficiaries to make a one-time switch to another Medicare Advantage (MA) plan, to disenroll from a MA plan, or to add or drop Prescription Drug (PDP) coverage.

  • Annual Enrollment Period (October 15 – December 7)

    The Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) is the time each year when you can choose which kind of Medicare coverage you want to enroll in effective January 1 of the following year.

    For example, if you want to change Medicare Advantage (MA) plans because your needs have changed, or if you decide to change from a Medicare Advantage (MA) plan to Original Medicare with a Medicare Supplement insurance plan, you may do so during the AEP. Coverage takes effect on January 1 of the following year.

  • Special Enrollment Period

    There are a number of circumstances under which an individual is eligible for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP), such as:

    • If you have both Medicare and Medicaid
    • If you have recently moved to a new area or your current plan was terminated
    • If you lose coverage through an employment-based group health plan

    To find out if you’re eligible for a SEP, contact us at 1-800-930-2836 (TTY users should call 711).

Medicare beneficiaries may also enroll in BlueCross Total (PPO), BlueCross Total Value (PPO), BlueCross Basic (MA only PPO), BlueCross Secure (HMO), BlueCross Rx Essential, BlueCross Rx Value (PDP) and BlueCross Rx Plus (PDP) through the CMS Online Enrollment Center at

BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina is a Medicare Advantage PPO and HMO plan with a Medicare contract. BlueCross Rx Essential, BlueCross Rx Value and BlueCross Rx Plus are stand-alone prescription drug plans with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in BlueCross Total, BlueCross Total Value, BlueCross Blue Basic, BlueCross Secure, BlueCross Rx Essential, BlueCross Rx Value or BlueCross Rx Plus depends on contract renewal.

You must continue to pay your Part B premium. This information is not a complete description of benefits. Contact the plan for more information. Limitations, copayments, and restrictions may apply.  Benefits, premiums, copayments or coinsurance may change on January 1 of each year.

Out-of-network/non-contracted providers are under no obligation to treat BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Medicare members, except in emergency situations. For a decision about whether we will cover an out-of-network service, we encourage you or your provider to ask us for a pre-service organization determination before you receive the service. Please call Customer Service or see your Evidence of Coverage for more information, including the cost-sharing that applies to out-of-network services.

Current members should call Customer Service at 1-855-204-2744 for additional information. (TTY users should call 711). Hours are seven days a week, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Oct. 1 to Mar. 31.  Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. all other times. 

Last Updated Date: 10.01.2021