Prescription Drug Plans

Medicare Part D helps pay for the prescription drugs you take.  Part D enrollment is optional.

You must eligible for Parts A and B. There are two ways to get Medicare prescription drug coverage:

  • Medicare Stand-Alone Prescription Drug Plans (PDP)
  • Medicare Advantage Plans (like an HMO,PPO, HMO-POS) that offer Part D, referred to as (MAPD) plans.

You cannot enroll in both a stand-alone Part D plan and a MAPD plan.  Be sure to review the plan’s drug formulary with your agent when deciding on a plan.  Once you enroll you’ll be Locked-In until the end of calendar year, unless you have an available SEP.

Enrollment Periods

Initial Enrollment Period (IEP)- Seven month window, anytime within the three months before your 65th birthday month, the month of your birthday and three months after.

Annual Election Period (AEP)- Oct. 15 – Dec. 7 also referred to as “Fall Open Enrollment.”  Allows you to make changes for the upcoming year, effective date is January 1st.

Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period- (January 1st thru February 14th) If your Medicare Advantage plan included drug coverage, that also will end, but you may enroll in a stand-alone Medicare Prescription Drug Plan during this period.

Late Enrollment Penalty

Even if you’re not taking many or any prescription drugs, it may be smart to enroll in Part D coverage, because if you delay signing up until after you are eligible you might be subject to Medicare’s late-enrollment penalty.


Part D plans vary by list of covered drugs and costs like premiums, deductibles, and copays.  You will want to consider all costs when choosing a plan with your agent.


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