When Can I Join a Part D Prescription Drug Plan?

if you have Original Medicare (A and B) you can join a Part D drug plan during AEP

The enrollment process for Medicare Part D is a unique one. You can’t enroll in it at the same time as Original Medicare (Part A and Part B), and it’s exclusively offered through private insurance. Late enrollment fees aren’t decided just by the amount of time you wait to join, but the time you’ve been without other prescription drug coverage. However, with the help of an advisor at Carolina Senior Benefits, joining a Part D plan is simple and easy. You’ll find that it’s worth signing up for once you’re enrolled.  

Am I Eligible for Medicare Part D?

To get a Medicare drug plan, you’ll need to be enrolled in Original Medicare first. If you have employer insurance and Original Medicare together, joining Part D may not be a good idea, as it can cause you to lose your employer group health insurance.

If you have complete Medicaid coverage, receive income through Social Security, or get assistance through a Medicare Savings Program, you can also be eligible for Extra Help. Also called the low-income subsidy (LIS), Extra Help will work to reduce your costs even further, making copays for generic medications $3.70 and brand names $9.20.

When Can I Join Part D?

The first opportunity is during the Initial Enrollment Period, which spans from three months before you turn 65 to three months after you turn 65. 

If you joined Original Medicare during the General Enrollment Period (January 1 – March 31), then you’ll be able to enroll in Part D during the Annual Enrollment Period, which is October 15 to December 7 every year.

You can wait past the time when you’re first eligible to join without penalty, as long as you have other creditable prescription drug coverage. Creditable prescription drug coverage refers to any drug plan that has costs and benefits comparable to that of Medicare Part D.

If you lose your current prescription drug coverage, you have two full months to join Medicare Part D without penalty. This is known as a Special Enrollment Period.

If you’ve missed these enrollment windows, you’ll have to pay a late enrollment penalty — that is added to your monthly premium. This is a permanent late fee which accrues 1% for every month you wait. That number is then multiplied by the national base beneficiary premium ($33.06 in 2021) and rounded to the nearest dime. That number is then added to your current premium cost.

We Can Help You Enroll

At Carolina Senior Benefits, we’ll help you enroll in a Medicare Part D plan that can help lower your prescription drug costs. We’ll get to know your situation and ask which medications you’re currently taking, so we can find a plan that includes them in its formulary.
Medicare Part D can make a tremendous difference, and with us, we’ll take you through all the steps necessary. You’ll not only get the best plan possible — you’ll also get it quickly. Contact us today at (704) 765-4689.