Can You Get Part D During the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period?

prescription drug coverage

No, not unless you are dropping a Medicare Advantage plan with prescription drug coverage to return to Original Medicare and need to sign up for a Medicare Part D plan

What Can You Do During Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment?

The Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment period goes from January 1 to March 31 every year. It gives people who are already enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan the opportunity to make changes to their coverage. 

People in a Medicare Advantage plan who want to make changes to their health insurance coverage can switch to a different Medicare Advantage plan with or without prescription drug coverage or go back to Original Medicare and join a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan if necessary.

When you make changes to your health coverage during this time, your new plan coverage will begin on the first day of the month after your new plan gets your request for coverage.

If you are within the first 12 months of your first time joining a Medicare Advantage plan and you return to Original Medicare, you may be eligible to sign up for a Medicare Supplement plan.

When to Get Medicare Part D

You can enroll in a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan when you first sign up for Medicare.

If you have a special enrollment period due to a qualifying life event, you can take that opportunity to sign up for a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan.

During Open Enrollment, which goes from October 15 to December 7 of every year, you can sign up for a Medicare Part D plan.

How to Choose a Medicare Part D Plan

Medicare Part D plans vary in the prescription drugs they cover and in their pricing tiers, premiums and copayment costs. All plans must cover at least two drugs in each of the most commonly prescribed categories, including anticancer, anticonvulsant, antidepressant, antipsychotic, antiretroviral, and immunosuppressant. Beyond that, plans can make their own selections, which are presented in their plan formulary.

Plan pricing is presented in tiers. Drugs are sorted into five tiers, which indicates the amount you pay in premiums for a drug in that level. Generic, preferred drugs will be in the lowest tiers and cost the least. Next come non-preferred generic drugs, brand-name, non-preferred and specialty prescriptions that require special handling and administration.

First compare the plans in your area to find those that will cover your prescription medications. Then you can compare pricing of their premiums, deductibles, and copayments for each drug.

Signing Up for Medicare Part D

Medicare Part D plans are essential for people who regularly take medications. Unless you have a Medicare Advantage plan with prescription drug coverage, you will need to get Medicare Part D during General Enrollment.

For help in finding the best Medicare Part D plan for your needs, contact Carolina Senior Benefits today.