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Signing Up for Medicare Part D: When and How

If it's your first time signing up for Medicare Part D, you'll typically do so during your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP), the Annual Enrollment Period, or a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) if you're eligible.

Also, keep in mind that you need to:

• Have Medicare Part A and/or Part B

• Live within the service area of the Part D plan

When your Part D coverage starts depends on when you sign up:

Your Part D IEP usually lines up with your Medicare IEP, which is a seven-month period. This includes the three months before your 65th birthday, your birthday month, and the three months after. For example, if you turn 65 in May, your IEP runs from February 1 to August 31.

  • Signing up during the first three months of the IEP makes your coverage start on the first day of the fourth month.

  • Signing up during the fourth month of the IEP or any time in the three months after that makes your coverage start the month after you enroll.

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Avoid the Part D Late Enrollment Penalty (LEP)

To avoid possibly having to pay a late enrollment penalty (LEP) and having gaps in your coverage, you should sign up for Part D as soon as you can. If you don't sign up for Part D during your IEP, you can also sign up or make changes to your Part D coverage during the Fall Open Enrollment Period. But if it's your first time enrolling in Part D, you might have to pay a late enrollment penalty.

  • Signing up during the first three months of the IEP makes your coverage start on the first day of the fourth month.

  • Signing up during the fourth month of the IEP or any time in the three months after that makes your coverage start the month after you enroll.

Part D Special Enrollment Eligibility

In certain situations, you might be eligible for an SEP to sign up for a Part D plan. This includes if you:

  • Had drug coverage that's at least as good as Medicare's

  • Have drug coverage through your job or your spouse's job

  • Are eligible for Extra Help

Remember: If you have Medicare because of a disability and you're currently paying a premium penalty, you won't have to pay the penalty once you turn 65. This is because you get a new Part D IEP when you turn 65.

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Navigating the world of Medicare can be overwhelming, but understanding the basics of enrollment is crucial to ensure you have the healthcare coverage you need. Remember to evaluate your options, consider your specific healthcare needs, and make an informed decision when enrolling in Medicare.

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Go ahead and click "Get Help Now" or call (443) 543-9200 when you're ready.

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We do not offer every plan available in your area. Any information we provide is limited to those plans we do offer in your area. Please contact or ‍1-800-MEDICARE to get information on all of your options.

Medicare has neither reviewed nor endorsed this information. Not connected with or endorsed by the United States government or the federal Medicare program.

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