When can I enroll in a Medicare Part D Plan?
Initial Enrollment Period
You’re first eligible to enroll in a Medicare Part D plan during your initial enrollment period (IEP). Your IEP begins three months before the month of your 65th birthday, includes your birth month, and lasts for three months after your birth month. This gives you a total of 7 months to enroll in your plan of choice.
You are first eligible to sign up for Medicare during your Initial Enrollment Period
(Your Initial Enrollment Period begins 3 months before the month you turn 65.)
7 month Initial Enrollment Period
*Signing up for Parts A and B during months 5-7 may result in delayed coverage.
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If you fail to sign up during this initial period you will have a yearly opportunity to enroll during the General Enrollment Period, which runs from January 1st to March 31st each year.
Special Enrollment Period
Certain life changes trigger a Special Enrollment Period (SEP). This SEP allows you to enroll in a Prescription Drug Plan outside of the Annual Election Period. You may be granted a SEP for numerous reasons including moving to a new address, entering or leaving a long-term care facility, leaving incarceration, losing existing coverage, and many more. Most Special Enrollment Periods last for 2-3 months but the duration may vary depending on the qualifying reason.
After the General Enrollment Period
If you miss your Initial Enrollment Period for Original Medicare you can enroll in Part A and/or Part B during the General Enrollment Period, which runs from January 31st to March 1st every year. If you enroll in Part B you’ll then be allowed to enroll in a Part D Plan between April 1st and June 30th.