It depends on when you want your Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage to begin.
When you turn 65 and become eligible for Medicare, you will be granted a seven (7) month window of time in which to enroll in a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan (this is your Initial Enrollment Period or IEP
You can enroll in a Medicare Part D plan up to 3 months before your birthday month (or month of Medicare eligibility), the month of your birthday, and 3 months after your birthday month (or date of eligibility - so, your initial enrollment period would begin in June and continue through December.
June - July - August - (September) - October - November - December
If you enroll before September (your Medicare eligibility month), your plan will take effect the month your Medicare starts - or the first day of your birthday month of September (for example, if you enroll in August, your Part D coverage will begin September 1st).
If you enroll during or after September, your plan will start the month after you enroll (for example: if you enroll in October, your Part D prescription drug plans starts November 1). If you wait until December to enroll, your Part D drug coverage begins January 1st.
If you need prescription drug coverage - enroll before September (your 65th birthday month) - if you do not need drug coverage, you can save the monthly premium cost and enroll later in your IEP
: November or December.
If you need assistance choosing and enrolling in a Medicare Part D plan or Medicare Advantage plan, please call a Medicare representative at 1-800-633-4227.
Then next year:
After your IEP, you will have a chance to change your Medicare Part D plan coverage during the annual Open Enrollment Period (AEP
) that starts October 15th and continues through December 7th of each year with new coverage beginning on January 1st.
For more information, please see the Frequently Asked Question:
What is the Medicare Part D IEP or Initial Enrollment Period?