For many people enrolling in a Part D plan seems like a confusing and overwhelming task. Questions abound. When do you sign up? How do you submit an enrollment application? How do you compare Part D plans? Part D enrollment doesn’t need to be difficult. The Medicare Part D sign up process can be seamless when you follow these easy tips.
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First, know when you can sign up.
Qualifying for Part D requires that you have Medicare Part A or Part B and you must live in the plan’s service area. There are certain times when you can sign up for Medicare drug coverage.
- When you are first eligible for Medicare. You have a 7 month period that begins 3 months before the month you turn 65, includes the month you turn 65 and ends 3 months after you turn 65.
- If you have Medicare due to a disability you can start the Medicare Part D sign up process 3 months before to 3 months after your 25th month of disability.
- As long as you meet Medicare eligibility requirements you may sign up under a Special enrollment Period if you lose creditable drug coverage, move out of a plan’s service area or live in an institution.
- You can sign up, drop or switch Part D plans anytime if you qualify for extra help (low income assistance).
- You can enroll or switch plans each year during the Annual Enrollment Period.
Understand what to consider when comparing Medicare Part D Plans.
There is not a Part D plan that that can be considered the best Part D plan for everyone. You should choose a plan based on your specific circumstances. You can find plan ratings at the Medicare website where plans are rated from 1 to 5 stars but you should do additional research, such as exploring the Medicare Part D formularies of the plans you are considering. When comparing Part D plans consider these things:
- Is the monthly premium affordable?
- Are you drugs covered on the plan formulary?
- Is there a deductible required?
- Are the copay or coinsurance amounts comparable to other plans?
- Are specific drugs listed in the same tier as other plans?
- Is your pharmacy in network?
- Does the mail order option offer a real value?
Learn how Medicare Part D sign up can be accomplished.
Once you have determined that you are eligible to enroll in a Part D plan and have compared plans, it’s time to submit an application. Here are some of the ways that you can sign up in Medicare Part D:
- Visit plan websites and submit an online application.
- Enroll in a Part D plan on the telephone.
- Mail a paper application to the plan of your choice.
- Meet with an insurance agent to submit an application.
Finding the right Part D plan for your specific set of circumstances is very important. Once you complete the Medicare Part D sign up process and the plan becomes effective you will not be allowed to switch until the next Annual Enrollment Period unless you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.