Medicare Part D Enrollment Periods

There are 3 periods in which an individual can enroll or disenroll:

1. Initial Enrollment Period (IEP)

The period when an individual is first eligible to enroll in a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan. Generally, individuals are first eligible to enroll when they are first entitled to receive Medicare Part A or first enrolled in Medicare Part B, and live in the plan's service area.

2. Annual Enrollment Period (AEP)

The period each year that individuals enrolled in a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan may switch plans - between Oct. 15 and Dec. 7, to take effect on Jan. 1 of the following year.

3. Special Enrollment Period (SEP)

The period when individuals, in specific circumstances, may change plans outside of the AEP. SEP examples include: change in residence, loss of employer/group coverage, recent approval for low-income subsidy assistance, etc.

Turning 65?

You can join a Medicare prescription drug plan beginning 3 months before you turn 65 to 3 months after you turn 65 (this is your IEP). Generally, if you are disabled, you can join 3 months before to 3 months after your 25th month of disability.

Late Enrollment

You may be required to pay a late enrollment penalty if you don't join a Medicare prescription drug plan when you are first eligible to join (during your IEP) or there is a period of 63 or more continuous days during which you don't have creditable prescription drug coverage as good as Medicare's.

If a late enrollment penalty applies, it is calculated by Medicare when you join a Medicare drug plan. To estimate your penalty, take 1% of the national average premium for the year you join. (The 2017 national average premium is $35.63) Multiply it by the number of full months you were eligible to join a Medicare prescription drug plan but didn't. This is your estimated penalty amount, which is added each month to your Medicare prescription drug plan's premium, for as long as you have the plan. If you qualify for Extra Help, the penalty is different. For help figuring out how much your penalty will be, call 1-800-MEDICARE/1-800-633-4227 (TTY/TDD: 1-877-486-2048), or call your State Health Insurance Assistance Program.

Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage

For more information on Medicare prescription drug coverage, click here.

Reminder: An individual cannot be enrolled in more than one Medicare Part D plan at the same time.

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