When And How to Apply for Medicare Part D?

When And How to Apply for Medicare Part D?
Medicare Medicare Part D

During a defined enrollment period, Medicare Part D drug plans are available for enrollment by Medicare beneficiaries. Recipients may pick a drug plan for the first time during these particular enrollment periods or make adjustments to a current plan. Along with a Medicare Part A or Part B prescription, Medicare Part D drug plans are available to individuals.

There are four specific periods that enrollment for Medicare Part D will happen:

1. Initial Enrollment Period (IEP)

Your first chance to participate in a prescription drug plan for Medicare is the initial enrollment period. The IEP enrollment timeframe is seven months. The window of seven months starts three months before your 65th birthday, the month of your birthday, and ends three months after your birthday.

2. Annual Enrollment Period (AEP)

The Medicare annual enrollment cycle runs every year from October 15th through December 7th. Coverage starts on January 1 of the following year for plans selected within this time-frame. During AEP you can:

  • Switch from a Medicare Advantage plan that includes prescription drug coverage to a Medicare Advantage plan that doesn’t

  • Enroll in a Medicare drug plan

  • Disenroll in a Medicare drug plan

  • Change a Medicare drug plan

When And How to Apply for Medicare Part D?

3. Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period

The open enrollment period for the Medicare Advantage runs every year from January 1st through March 31. You can move Medicare Advantage plans to non-drug coverage during this time span. You can also switch to Original Medicare from a Medicare Advantage plan and add a stand-alone prescription drug plan. However, you will not be able to switch from original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan during this period, join a stand-alone prescription drug plan if you are participating in original Medicare, or switch drug plans from Medicare.

4. Special Enrollment Period (SEP)

Under unique individual conditions, the special enrollment period allows for Medicare Part D enrollment. You are eligible for a special enrollment date, according to Medicare.gov, if:

  • Your plan changes its contract with Medicare.

  • If you qualify for Extra Help.

  • You change where you live.

  • You lose your current coverage.

  • You have a chance to get other coverage.

  • Other special situations – Contact a qualified agent to find out if your situation applies for a SEP.

Is there a Late Enrollment Penalty for Medicare Part D?

Yes. You will be responsible for late penalties if you fail to sign up for a prescription drug plan during one of the eligibility periods and you do not have creditworthy prescription drug coverage. The late enrollment penalty is an amount that is applied to the monthly premium of your Medicare Part D that is determined based on how long you have been without coverage.

Finally, it is necessary to remember that enrollment for Medicare Part D is only available during the above-defined enrollment periods. If you need medications, you will not be able to sign up, no matter how extreme the medical condition needs them.


The Ultimate Guide to Medicare Part D

Medicare Part D




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Medicare Plan Terms Employers Need to Know

What You Need to Know About Medicare Plans Renewal

Why Switch to Online Enrollment for Medicare

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