When is open enrollment for Medicare Part D?

When is Open Enrollment for a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan?

Medicare Prescription Drug Plans (or Part D) coverage is from Oct 15th through Dec 7th. During this time ANYONE with Medicare can join, exchange, drop, or switch their Part D coverage.

How many Prescription Drug Plans (PDP) can I enroll in?

It is very important that you understand you are only eligible for one Part D plan at a time. Technically, it is illegal to be enrolled in multiple Part D plans at one time. If you are currently on one Part D plan, and wanting to switch, the switch will take place on January 1st. Your old plan would end Dec 31st, while the new plan would start Jan 1st.

If I don’t like the new Drug Plan, can I change back to the previous Part D Plan?

Yes, but you would have to wait until the PDP open enrollment which is October 15 –December 7.

I don’t take any drugs, do I have to have a Prescription Drug Plan?

No, you do not have to have Part D coverage, HOWEVER, once you do enroll in a Part D coverage you will have a 1% rate increase for every month that you did NOT have Part D coverage. So if you start Medicare at age 65 and go for a complete 12 months without any drug coverage, you would have a 12% penalty built into your premium. For this purpose we advise people to get a PDP just in case!

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3 thoughts on “When is open enrollment for Medicare Part D?

  1. If you are enrolled into a Medicare Advantage Plan, you are alolwed to drop your Medicare Advantage Plan and go back to original Medicare. If you do this, you will also want to enroll into a Medicare Part D Prescription drug plan. Original Medicare is the Part A and Part B that is on your paper Medicare card that you received when you first joined Medicare. It does not include drug coverage which is why you would want to enroll into a Part D drug plan. You have until February 14th to enroll into a Part D drug plan. The coverage starts the first day of the month after you enroll.a0 For example, if you enroll into the drug plan on January 20th, your coverage would start on February 1st. If you wait until February 14th to enroll, then your coverage starts on March 1st.Source: medicare-plans.net

    • In the past most people steatrd drawing their Social Security benefits at age 65 which corresponded nicely to the age of Medicare eligibility.a0 Unfortunately, the age for full retirement benefits from Social Security is going higher and currently can be as high as 67 for some people.a0 If you are drawing Social Security benefits when you turn 65 you do not have to do anything!a0 A full Medicare packet will be sent to you around three months prior to your birthday. Even if you are postponing your Social Security benefits, you have to still apply for Medicare when you turn 65.Source: medicare-plans.net

  2. There is good news for Medicare beneficiaries in 2012.a0 A new Special Enrollment Period was creetad by Medicare starting in 2012 that will allow Medicare beneficiaries to join a 5 star rated Medicare Advantage Plan or Prescription Drug Plan at any time during the year.a0 Currently, most beneficiaries are only allowed to sign up for a Medicare Advantage plan or Prescription Drug Plan during the AEP or Annual Election Period which runs from October 15 until December 7.a0 See my post on Medicare Advantage Enrollment Dates For 2012.

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