When can I join a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan?
Annual Medicare Open Enrollment Period - If you currently have Medicare Part A (hospital and inpatient coverage) and / or Medicare Part B (doctor and outpatient coverage), you can enroll or re-enroll in a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan (PDP) or Medicare Advantage plan with prescription coverage (MAPD) during the annual Medicare Open Enrollment Period (AEP
) starting on October 15
through December 7
of each year and your newly-chosen Medicare plan coverage begins on January 1 of the following year.
So, for the 2023 Medicare Part D Plans, you can enroll between October 15, 2022 and December 7, 2022. And your new 2023 Medicare Part D or Medicare Advantage plan will begin January 1, 2023.
Initial Enrollment Period - When you turn 65 or first become eligible for Medicare
, you will be granted an Initial Enrollment Period (IEP
) with a seven (7)
month window of time to enroll into a Medicare Part D or Medicare Advantage plan and avoid any possible Late-Enrollment Penalty
The 7-month IEP starts three (3) months before the month of your Medicare eligibility (for instance, your 65th birthday month)
- includes the month of your Medicare eligibility (e.g. the month you turn 65)
- and, then the three (3) months after the month you become eligible for Medicare.
During the IEP, your Medicare plan coverage will begin either on the first day of your Birthday month or, if you join a Medicare plan during or after your Medicare-eligibility month, plan coverage will begin on the first day of the month after the month in which you join.
For example, if you turn 65 on June 10th, you can enroll into a Medicare Part D or Medicare Advantage plan anytime during March, April, or May with Medicare plan coverage starting June 1st. You can also join a Medicare plan June, July, August, or September with plan coverage beginning the first day of the month after enrollment.
Please note, to ensure the smoothest possible transition into your new Medicare Part D plan, try to enroll before the middle of the month - this allows time for the processing of your enrollment application and the receipt of all your new Medicare plan information. Also, if you need Medicare Part D drug coverage and/or Medicare Advantage healthcare coverage immediately, enroll into a plan before your Medicare-eligibility month so plan coverage will begin at the earliest possible time.