That Time of the Year: Medicare Part D Enrollment and Deadline

One of the most stressful times of the year is upon Medicare eligible people and Medicare members; it’s Medicare part D enrollment time. It’s the time of the year when thousands of people are bombarded with Medicare part d plan information and asked to stay with their current provider, pick a new one or jump into the melee for the first time. While it’s a stressful time of the year, it’s a time that many people have waited all year for.

From Oct. 15 to Dec. 7 of 2014, it’s open enrollment season for Medicare part D plans. This means that people that are eligible to join a Medicare part D plan don’t need a special reason to leave their current plan or join a different part D plan. All that has to be done after making a decision is to enroll in the plan of their choice. For many, the Medicare part D enrollment period is a magical time of the year.

Who Can Enroll and How to Enroll

During the Medicare part D enrollment time, insurance providers are busy working with a lot of people. They are working with people that want to enroll into a prescription drug plan. As wonderful as this is, not everyone that wants a part D plan will be able to enroll in one.

To enroll into a Medicare part D plan there are some requirements that have to be met. These requirements include:

  • Medicare eligible
  • Having Medicare part A and/or B
  • Must have a Medicare number

Many people assume the Medicare part D enrollment time is only for those that are 65 years old and older but it’s not. There are thousands of people that have Medicare because of a disability and they can enroll or change their part D plans during this time of the year as well.

Those that want to enroll into a new Medicare part D plan should take some time and research. There are a lot of things to consider when finding the right Medicare part D plan. Those that want to change or enroll into a plan should think about:

  • The out of pocket expenses (deductible, monthly premiums, medication copays and coinsurance payments)
  • The pharmacy network
  • The Formulary

When the right plan is found, people can enroll in one of 5 ways: over the phone with the new Medicare part D provider, online, over the phone with Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, through a paper application or with a licensed insurance agent.

When It Becomes Effective

During the Medicare part D enrollment period it’s important for people to remember that their new part D plan won’t become effective until Jan. 1, 2015. There are some that believe their coverage will begin immediately and that is not true. During this time of the year, selections are made for coverage to start in the next calendar year. Once enrolled in a part D plan, the enrollment is active for a full calendar year.

There are a lot of things to do during the Medicare part D enrollment period. While there are a lot of things to do, the relief it brings is something many didn’t expect to have in 2015.

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