When to Enroll in Medicare
Part D Plans
When can you enroll in a Medicare Part D plan?
Medicare has specific enrollment periods for Part D enrollment. It is important
to understand the various Medicare Part D enrollment periods. Review them carefully
so you don’t miss the enrollment period that applies to you.
Annual Enrollment Period (AEP)
Every year, the AEP begins October 15th and ends December 7th for Medicare-eligible
people to enroll in a plan that works best for them. Coverage begins January 1st
of the following year.
Initial Enrollment Period (IEP)
This Medicare Part D enrollment period includes 7 months that start 3 months before
the month you turn 65, includes the month you turn 65, and ends 3 months after the
month you turn 65.
Special Enrollment Period (SEP)
The Special Enrollment Period allows you to join, switch or drop a Medicare prescription
drug plan if any of these circumstances apply to you:
- You recently returned to the United States after living permanently outside of the U.S.
- You have both Medicare and Medicaid or your state helps pay for your Medicare premiums.
- You no longer qualify for Extra Help paying for your Medicare prescription drug coverage.
- You recently involuntarily lost your creditable prescription drug coverage (as good as Medicare’s).
- You get Extra Help paying for Medicare prescription drug coverage but do not have Medicaid.
- In the last 12 months, you left a Medigap policy to join a Medicare Advantage Plan with prescription drug coverage for the first time.
- In the last 12 months, you turned 65 and joined a Medicare Advantage Plan with prescription drug coverage.
- You are leaving/losing/joining employer or union.
- You received a notice from the plan/Medicare that you are eligible for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP).
- You belong to a Pharmacy Assistance Program provided by your state.
- You recently moved outside the service area for your current plan, or you recently moved and this plan is a new option for you.
- You are disenrolling from a Medicare cost plan that you had prescription drug coverage from.
- You are being disenrolled from a Medicare Special Needs Plan because you no longer have special needs status.
- You are losing or lost your participation in a Pharmacy Assistance Program provided by your state.
- Your plan is ending its contract with Medicare, or Medicare is ending its contract with your plan.
- You recently left a PACE program (Program of all inclusive care for the elderly.)
- You live in, are moving into, or recently moved out of a nursing home or Long-term Care Facility.
- You are disenrolling from your Medicare Advantage Plan between 1/1/2014 and 2/14/2014 to enroll in original Medicare.
Ready to Enroll Online?
The SEPs listed above are examples, and do not include every situation that may
qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. For more information about SEPs, call Medicare
at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). TTY users call 1-877-486-2048, 24 hours a day,
7 days a week.
Medicare Part D Enrollment Reminder: If you receive Extra Help
from Medicare to help pay for your prescription drug coverage, you may enroll in
Medicare Part D plans at any time. This includes joining, changing or dropping a
Medicare prescription drug plan.