When and How To Sign Up for a Medicare Part D Plan?

When and How To Sign Up for a Medicare Part D Plan?
Medicare Part D

Original Medicare does not extend to prescription medications. If you want insurance coverage, you need to enroll in a stand-alone drug plan (Medicare Part D). These plans are managed by private entities, not the Federal Government, although the CMS "approves" them annually. In the area/county in which you live, you have the choice to choose from several companies. This is called your "service area." You would have to search for another prescription drug plan in your new place if you do move out of your service area.

You can sign up for Medicare Part D when:

  • When your birthday occurs on the first day of the month, your seven-month duration starts the month prior to the month of your birth. Let's presume the 1st of May is your birthday. It will then be your IEP from 1 January to 31 July.

  • You have a seven-month period when you are about to turn 65, after which you can enroll in Medicare Parts A and B. This includes three months before you turn 65, and three months after your 65th birthday, your birthday month.

  • The AEP (Annual Enrollment Period)

  • Every year, from 15 October to 7 December. During this time frame, you will alter your prescription drug schedule. It will, however, not go into effect until 1 January.

  • Your IEP (Initial Enrollment Period)

  • Special dates for registration, such as:

  1. You apply and eligible for Extra help 

  2. Losing credible coverage of drugs

  3. Losing prescription coverage from an employer or union


Note: You can change your Medicare Part D plan once a month if you get extra assistance or reside in a nursing home.


To ensure that your new plan starts when it should, it is a good idea to sign up for Medicare Part D early. You will have to pay a late penalty if you do not sign up in a timely manner, as stated above, which may also postpone the effective date of your Part D plan. This penalty is estimated at 1% of the national base recipient premium ($32.74 in 2020) multiplied by the number of months in which you were not covered.

Are there any conditions for a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan to be eligible?


In order to enroll in a Medicare drug plan:

  • Living in the plan's coverage area, i.e. zip code or county code,

  • You have Medicare Part A and/or Part B


You can sign up for a plan for Medicare Part D by:

  • By using the Medicare's Plan Finder tool

  • Call the plan of your choice or go to its website online and register directly.

  • Calling 1-800-MEDICARE (800-633-4227) ; TTY: 877-486-2048;


It is very smart that you use the Medicare.gov comparison tool (or have a broker do it for you) to compare the plans, if you take any drugs, particularly if you take any that are expensive. The co-pays and lists of covered medications can differ greatly from company to company.


Step to use the Medicare Plan Finder Tool


Step to use the Medicare Plan Finder Tool

  1. Go to medicare.gov/plan-compare. Without logging in, you can either create a login or continue. You will be able to see drug prices depending on any assistance you receive, compare plans, create and save your drug list, and other helpful features if you create a login;

  2. You will then be asked what kind of drug plan you are searching for. Click on the Drug Plan section (Part D). Afterward, you will be asked to enter your zip code. If your zip code includes more than one county, then it will pull up those counties and ask you to choose one.

  3. You will be asked if you get help from such services

  4. Next, Do you want to see the cost of your drugs?

  5. It then asks if you pay for the cost of your medication: pharmacy, mail order, or both.

  6. You will be asked to add those medications if you have drugs to come in. After you finished adding products, if that is how you get your prescriptions, it will show your preferred pharmacy. In your zip code, a list of different pharmacies will pop up.

  7. You can then see a list of plans that can be sorted by heading to the top-right drop-down box on the tab. The options are a) lowest monthly premium; b) lowest yearly drug deductible; c) lowest drug + premium cost. Note: If you have not taken any medicine, the last option will not be available.

  8. Up to 3 plans can be compared at a time. The plan comparison can also be saved and can be printed.


As mentioned above, by clicking the "enroll" button or by clicking on the plan to get the plan provider information, you can register directly on the plan-finder tool.


How Do I Pay for My Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan?


In most situations, the monthly fee will be deducted from the Social Security benefits every month. You still have the option, however, to pay directly via a bank draft for the plan or have them bill you instead.


What else do you need in addition to Medicare Part D?


You also have the option of having a Medigap plan to fill in the holes in Medicare Part A & B if you have Medicare Part A and Part B and you add Part D. Medigap plans pay the unlimited 20% that Medicare does not cover, as well as paying the Medicare deductibles on certain plans.



What Does Medicare Part D Cover?

Learn more about medicare part d



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