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.
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.