What are Medicare Prescription Drug Plans (Part D)?
Medicare prescription drug plans are individual plans usually paired with Medicare supplements or Original Medicare. These plans provide prescription drug coverage usually through the use of copays or coinsurance.
When Can I Enroll in a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan?
The enrollment periods for Part D plans are very similar to those for Medicare Advantage plans. You may enroll in a Medicare Prescription Drug plan during the following times:
- Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) – This is the 7 month period, including the 3 months before, the month of, and the 3 months after you are first eligible to enroll in Medicare. This period may surround the month you turn 65 or the 25th month you have collected disability.
- Open Enrollment Period (OEP) – During the period between October 15 to December 7 each year, Medicare enrollees can make changes to their coverage. Enrollees can select a new Prescription Drug Plan or switch between between plans during this period. New coverage selections will go into effect on January 1.
- Annual “Disenrollment” Period – January 1 to February 15th each year, you may disenroll from a Medicare Advantage plan and return to Original Medicare plan. If your Medicare Advantage plan provided drug coverage, you are eligible to enroll in a PDP during this time.
- General Enrollment Period (GEP) – If you did not sign up when you were originally eligible, you may sign up for Original Medicare during January to March each year. If you sign up for Part A and Part B during GEP, you can sign up for Medicare Advantage through June. Coverage will begin on July 1 of that year.
- Other Special Enrollment Period (SEP) – You may sign up for Medicare PDP plan during other Special Enrollment Periods. Visit Medicare.gov for more Special Enrollment Period options.