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"easyMedicare made getting the coverage I deserved easy and saved me a great deal of money."

- Joe Theismann

Joe Theismann - NFL MVP and Super Bowl Champion

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Medicare Prescription Drug Plans: When Can I Enroll in Medicare Part D?

Everyone eligible for Medicare, at some point, will have to ask themselves this question: Is it better to have a prescription drug plan and not need it, or to lack coverage and need it? It isn’t as clear cut of a question as choosing to go with or without coverage for doctor visits and hospital stays—most people would likely choose the coverage in that case. To make the question of prescription drug coverage a little easier to answer, it’s important to know when you can actually enroll in a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (Part D).

The Medicare Annual Election Period

It’s your annual opportunity to review and adjust every aspect of your coverage, including Medicare Part D. The Medicare Annual Election Period (AEP) begins on Oct. 15 each year and runs until midnight on Dec. 7.

When you add a Part D plan during AEP, your prescription drug coverage will begin at the start of the following year.

The Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period

While the Medicare Annual Election Period offers you a better opportunity to enroll in Medicare Part D, the ensuing Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period (OEP) offers you one more shot to secure a prescription drug plan—quite literally.

You get to make one change to your Medicare coverage during OEP, with a few caveats:

  • You can switch between Medicare Advantage plans to enroll in one that includes Part D Coverage.
  • You can switch from a Medicare Advantage plan to Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) and add Part D coverage.
  • You can’t make a change if you are not enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan.

If you decide to add Part D coverage or make any other adjustments during this enrollment period, your changes will go into effect at the beginning of the month following your provider’s acceptance of your changes.

Keep reading for two more times when you can enroll in Medicare Part D Plans.