There are several ways to enroll into a Medicare Part D or Medicare Advantage plan - and the good news is, no matter how you enroll in a Medicare Part D or Medicare Advantage plan, your cost and coverage are the same.
Here are a few popular Medicare plan enrollment alternatives:
- Enroll through a local insurance agent who represents your desired Medicare Part D plan or Medicare Advantage plan.
Your local insurance agent is specifically trained to represent certain Medicare plans and should be able to provide answers to many of your coverage questions, provide you with printed plan materials, and help you complete the enrollment application. Your local insurance agent should also be available throughout the plan year to help answer questions and explain any plan changes. To find a local insurance agent, you can look in a telephone book (if available), search on the internet, look for local advertisements, ask a friend for a recommendation, or speak with your personal insurance agent who may handle your auto or home insurance.
- Enroll with a local volunteer or Senior advocate or Medicare counselor.
You usually can find a number of local volunteers, such as SHIP volunteers or volunteers at local churches or Senior Center volunteers who can help you evaluate your Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage plan options. Most volunteers receive special training that can provide you with an unbiased perspective of all available plans and the volunteers usually work with the Medicare.gov Plan Finder to complete the enrollment process. As always, be sure that you record your enrollment confirmation number and the date of enrollment.
- Enroll over the telephone with an insurance agent who represents multiple Medicare Part D plans or Medicare Advantage plans.
A number of large insurance agencies or brokers provide call centers for telephone enrollment. These call centers use licensed and certified insurance agent that may represent multiple Medicare plans in your area and can provide you with personal enrollment service over the telephone. The advantage of using a large broker is that they may represent a number of different plans and may be able to provide you with several economical Medicare plan options.
- Enroll online through the Medicare.gov Plan Finder site or a Medicare plan's website or an insurance agent website representing Medicare plans.
You can enroll online through the Medicare.gov Plan Finder website (https://www.medicare.gov/plan-compare/) - or directly through your chosen Medicare plan's website (such as: https://www.humana.com/medicare or https://www.aetnamedicare.com/). You can also enroll directly online with an insurance agent's website or large insurance broker (such as https://eHealthMedicare.com) representing one or more Medicare plans. When you enroll online, you should be provided a confirmation code at the end of the enrollment process - record this confirmation code (along with the date of enrollment) as proof of the successful online enrollment.
- Submit a printed Medicare plan enrollment application.
Many people still prefer to telephone their chosen Medicare plan and ask for enrollment information that includes a printed enrollment application. If you choose this enrollment option, you can review the printed Medicare plan information at your leisure and then mail in a completed application before the enrollment deadline -for example, well before the December 7th annual Open Enrollment Period (AEP) deadline.
Suggestion: For those of you who choose to submit a printed enrollment form, here are a few tips for avoiding common application errors: "Seven tips for successfully submitting your Medicare Part D or Medicare Advantage plan enrollment form"
Our Q1Medicare enrollment suggestion: Call a Medicare representative.
If you wish to join a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan (or Medicare Advantage plan), we
suggest you speak with a Medicare representative about your Medicare
plan eligibility and options.
To contact Medicare directly please call toll-free
1-800-633-4227 (TTY 1-877-486-2048), select the prescription drug option, and then choose the option
to speak with a Medicare representative - or just clearly say "representative"
several times during the automated menu options.
You may want to telephone during off-peak hours to avoid long wait times - try earlier in the morning or later in the evening.
Once connected, please explain your situation to a
Medicare representative and confirm with the Medicare representative that you are
eligible to join a Medicare plan at this time.
If you are eligible for enrollment, ask the
representative to help you find a Medicare Advantage plan or a Medicare
Part D prescription drug plan that most economically covers your health and
medication needs - or you can ask specific questions about a particular
As you review plan options, you can ask the
representative to provide you with an estimated annual cost based on your
health and medication needs for any particular Medicare plan.
You can also make sure that the Medicare representative
knows about the pharmacies you use or have available locally - and make sure the representative explains to you about
the possible cost differences between preferred and standard network
If you are enrolling into a Medicare Advantage plan,
please be sure that your healthcare providers are included in the plan's
network (and understand that a plan's healthcare network can change at
any time throughout the plan year - this means that your primary care
physician (PCP) in November may no longer be a part of the plan's
healthcare network in April).
If you have found an acceptable Medicare plan, and you
are eligible for enrollment, the Medicare representative can then process your
enrollment into any Medicare Part D or Medicare Advantage plan directly over
the telephone - and the process only takes a few minutes (when you enroll, you will be given an enrollment
confirmation code that you should keep as proof of enrollment).
Please note that a Medicare representative is
not compensated for a Medicare plan enrollment and provides you with an
impartial view of all available Medicare Part D plans or Medicare Advantage
Q1Medicare tools that will help you get an overview of available Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage plans
(1) Medicare Part D Plan Finder
To search for a Medicare Part D plan in your area by plan features such
as premium, deductible, or co-pay, you can use our Medicare Part D Plan
(choose your state to begin - click on the plan name for more information).
(2) Medicare Advantage Plan Finder
You can review all the Medicare Advantage plan options in your county using our Medicare Advantage Plan Finder: MA-Finder.com
(enter your ZIP Code to begin - click on the Medicare plan name for more coverage information).
(3) Q1Rx® Drug Finder
If you are searching for a Medicare drug plan based on a specific medication, you can use our Q1Rx Drug Finder
to see all Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage plans in your area that cover a prescription. (Q1Rx.com