You can enroll in Part D during the 3 months before the month you become eligible for Medicare and up to 3 months after the month you become eligible.
You can enroll over the phone, online, or by mail. You should have your Medicare card to enroll.
If you are eligible for Medicare and have not enrolled in Part D, you will be able to enroll during the annual election period. The annual election period for Part D is from October 15 to December 7 every year. Some people can enroll in a Part D plan at other times in the year. For example, if you enter a nursing home, or if you lose your creditable coverage, you can probably enroll in a Part D plan right away. Also, if you have Medicaid, you can enroll or switch plans once per month.
Call SHIP at 1-800-642-5119 or the Health Care Advocate HelpLine at 1-800-917-7787 to find out if you can enroll outside of the Annual Election Period.
Your Part D coverage should start the first day of the month after you enroll.
What Happens If I Don't Enroll?
You must enroll in Part D during your initial enrollment period. You will be charged a penalty if you enroll later. The penalty is 1% of the national average premium for each month that you were eligible but didn't enroll. You will have to pay this penalty every month when you pay your Part D premium. You don't have to enroll or pay a penalty if you have creditable coverage from another health insurance plan.