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Seven tips for successfully submitting your Medicare Part D or Medicare Advantage plan's printed enrollment form

Category: Medicare Part D Enrollment
Updated: Mar, 14 2022

Unfortunately, many people enrolling in a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan (PDP) or Medicare Advantage plan (MA or MAPD) make mistakes when submitting a printed enrollment forms - and these errors can delay or stop the enrollment process.

The good news is that a Medicare plan representative will usually contact you if there is an error in your enrollment information that is hindering the enrollment process.  But as you approach December 7th and near the end of the annual Open Enrollment Period (AEP), you will need to complete your application carefully so as to not jeopardize your enrollment.

Consider these tips when completing a Medicare plan enrollment:
  1. Did you enter your name and new Medicare Beneficiary Identifier exactly as shown on your "new" Medicare ID card?

    Remember, last year, you received a new Medicare ID card - and this ID card included a new 11-charecter Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) (such as, "1EG4-TE5-MK72") - and replaced your old Medicare card that had a Social Security Number-based Health Insurance Claim Number (HICN).   Make sure you are gathering information from the most current Medicare ID card.  If you cannot find your Medicare ID card, you can contact a Medicare representative at 1-800-633-4227 for assistance.

    New Medicare Card with Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) (source: CMS)

  2. Have you entered your Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B dates correctly?

    Make sure that your Medicare information was entered on the application and entered correctly.  Again, Medicare beneficiaries will have a new Medicare ID card, so be sure that you are using the most current Medicare ID card when looking for your Medicare information.  You must be eligible for Medicare Part A and/or Medicare Part B in order to join a Medicare Part D plan.  However, you must have both Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B coverage to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan.

  3. Prior to 2021: Do you suffer from Kidney Failure or End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD)?

    From 2006 through 2020, the only "health-related" question that you can be asked when joining a Medicare Advantage plan is whether you sufferer from End-Stage Renal Disease ESRD (or kidney failure).  Starting in 2021, a Medicare beneficiary with ESRD can join a Medicare Advantage plan.

  4. Are you joining a Medicare Advantage Special Needs Plan (SNP)?

    A Special Needs Plan (SNP) is a Medicare Advantage plan with care that is specialized for people who have a specific health-related condition or financial need.  If you are joining a SNP, you will need to demonstrate that you satisfy specific conditions in order to join the plan.  For example, you will need to be eligible for Medicaid to join a Dual-Eligible SNP (D-SNP) that provides benefits for people eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid.  Be sure to carefully complete any questions necessary for enrollment in the SNP.

  5. Are you the Power of Attorney (POA) who is completing this information for someone else?

    If you are someone's legal or authorized representative for healthcare issues and completing the enrollment application for that person, be sure to include any required information about your relationship to the Medicare beneficiary such as your name, address, telephone number, and signature.

  6. Is your handwriting legible and did you double-check the accuracy of information?

    Make sure that the information you included on the enrollment application is legible and accurate.  If you need assistance writing clearly, please ask for help from a friend, neighbor, family member, or advocate.  When in doubt, you can always telephone a Medicare representative at 1-800-633-4227 and complete an enrollment application over the telephone (be sure to record any confirmation number at the end of the enrollment process as evidence of your successful enrollment).

  7. Have you made a copy of the completed enrollment application, double-checked the mailing address, and sent the enrollment form using the "tracking" option?

    We often hear from people who cannot prove that they submitted their enrollment application since they have not made a copy of the completed form and have mailed the form using standard post that cannot be tracked.  Make sure that you keep a copy of the application and mail the original signed form using some type of post (U.S. Post, UPS, Fed. Ex.) that allows you to track the enrollment form, showing that your application was delivered to the address printed on the application.  The tracking information will also help prove that your form was mailed and received by your plan during the October 15th to December 7th annual Open Enrollment Period.

  8.  Bonus Tip - Choose the correct enrollment period (AEP, OEP, SEP, IEP)

    If you are enrolling into a Medicare Part D or Medicare Advantage plan during the annual Open Enrollment Period that starts October 15th and continues through December 7th, you will want to select "AEP" on your enrollment application as the enrollment period.

    On your printed enrollment application, you may see a few other abbreviations or acronyms for different enrollment periods, such as: IEP (Initial Enrollment Period), OEP (Open Enrollment Period), and SEP (Special Enrollment Period).  Do not confuse these terms with your "AEP".

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Tips & Disclaimers
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  • The Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D prescription drug plan data on our site comes directly from Medicare and is subject to change.
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  • We provide our Q1Medicare.com site for educational purposes and strive to present unbiased and accurate information. However, Q1Medicare is not intended as a substitute for your lawyer, doctor, healthcare provider, financial advisor, or pharmacist. For more information on your Medicare coverage, please be sure to seek legal, medical, pharmaceutical, or financial advice from a licensed professional or telephone Medicare at 1-800-633-4227.
  • We are an independent education, research, and technology company. We are not affiliated with any Medicare plan, plan carrier, healthcare provider, or insurance company. We are not compensated for Medicare plan enrollments. We do not sell leads or share your personal information.
  • Benefits, formulary, pharmacy network, provider network, premium and/or co-payments/co-insurance may change on January 1 of each year. Our PDP-Compare.com and MA-Compare.com provide highlights of annual plan benefit changes.
  • The benefit information provided is a brief summary, not a complete description of benefits. For more information contact the plan.
  • Limitations, copayments, and restrictions may apply.
  • We make every effort to show all available Medicare Part D or Medicare Advantage plans in your service area. However, since our data is provided by Medicare, it is possible that this may not be a complete listing of plans available in your service area. For a complete listing please contact 1-800-MEDICARE (TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048), 24 hours a day/7 days a week or consult www.medicare.gov.
  • When enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan, you must continue to pay your Medicare Part B premium.
  • Medicare beneficiaries with higher incomes may be required to pay both a Medicare Part B and Medicare Part D Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amount (IRMAA). Read more on IRMAA.
  • Medicare Advantage plans that include prescription drug coverage (MAPDs) are considered Medicare Part D plans and members with higher incomes may be subject to the Medicare Part D Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amount (IRMAA), just as members in stand-alone Part D plans. In certain situations, you can appeal IRMAA.
  • You must be enrolled in both Medicare Part A and Part B to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan. Members may enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan only during specific times of the year. Contact the Medicare plan for more information.
  • If you are enrolled in a Medicare plan with Part D prescription drug coverage, you may be eligible for financial Extra Help to assist with the payment of your prescription drug premiums and drug purchases. To see if you qualify for Extra Help, call: 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048, 24 hours a day/ 7 days a week or consult www.medicare.gov; the Social Security Office at 1-800-772-1213 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. TTY users should call, 1-800-325-0778; or your state Medicaid Office.
  • Medicare evaluates plans based on a 5-Star rating system. Star Ratings are calculated each year and may change from one year to the next.
  • A Medicare Advantage Private Fee-for-Service plan (PFFS) is not a Medicare supplement plan. Providers who do not contract with the plan are not required to see you except in an emergency.
  • Disclaimer for Institutional Special Needs Plan (SNP): This plan is available to anyone with Medicare who meets the Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) level of care and resides in a nursing home.
  • Disclaimer for Dual Eligible (Medicare/Medicaid) Special Needs Plan (SNP): This plan is available to anyone who has both Medical Assistance from the State and Medicare. Premiums, co-pays, co-insurance, and deductibles may vary based on the level of Extra Help you receive. Please contact the plan for further details.
  • Disclaimer for Chronic Condition Special Needs Plan (SNP): This plan is available to anyone with Medicare who has been diagnosed with the plan specific Chronic Condition.
  • Medicare MSA Plans combine a high deductible Medicare Advantage Plan and a trust or custodial savings account (as defined and/or approved by the IRS). The plan deposits money from Medicare into the account. You can use this money to pay for your health care costs, but only Medicare-covered expenses count toward your deductible. The amount deposited is usually less than your deductible amount, so you generally have to pay out-of-pocket before your coverage begins.
  • Medicare MSA Plans do not cover prescription drugs. If you join a Medicare MSA Plan, you can also join any separate (stand-alone) Medicare Part D prescription drug plan
  • There are additional restrictions to join an MSA plan, and enrollment is generally for a full calendar year unless you meet certain exceptions. Those who disenroll during the calendar year will owe a portion of the account deposit back to the plan. Contact the plan provider for additional information.
  • Medicare beneficiaries may enroll through the CMS Medicare Online Enrollment Center located at www.medicare.gov.
  • Medicare beneficiaries can file a complaint with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services by calling 1-800-MEDICARE 24 hours a day/7 days or using the medicare.gov site. Beneficiaries can appoint a representative by submitting CMS Form-1696.