For a person who is 65, that would be the three months prior to month of his birthday, his birthday month and three months after the month of your birthday. After the initial application period, there is an annual open application period (AEP) when you can change plans. Historically, the annual open enrollment period begins on November 15 and ends on December 31 with effective registrations on January 1. Generally speaking, a person can enroll in a Prescription Drug Plan during their initial open enrollment period when they first qualify for Medicare Part B. In addition, all Part D drug plans have a catastrophic coverage phase that limits your annual spending after you disburse a certain amount in a calendar year; because protection is so cost-effective and comprehensive, why risk not signing up? Even if you don’t use coverage often at first, it will be there when you really need it, and that means guaranteeing yourself.
For half a century, Medicare beneficiaries have not had regular Medicare part D plans retail coverage. As you can imagine, there was a lot of outrage about this, as older people have regular needs for prescription drugs, like everyone else. Finally, in 2003, the Medicare Modernization Act was passed, which created Medicare Part D as a program to give beneficiaries access to co-paid retail drugs if they enrolled in an approved drug plan. Although the program is technically voluntary, there are reasons why beneficiaries should seriously consider enrolling when they are initially eligible for Medicare.
People on Medicare Part D should also keep in mind that buying drugs, which are not covered by your plan form, at an authorized pharmacy, is a great alternative to paying the price of the local pharmacy. Many people will also benefit greatly from ordering their medications from a pharmacy once they reach the coverage gap, called the “no coverage period”. This coverage gap occurs at the annual expense level of $2250 and beneficiaries are 100% responsible for their costs up to $5100 in drug costs. For a surprisingly large number of people, they can save more by buying all medicines rather than buying them through the Medicare program.
There are other special enrollment periods available to Medicare beneficiaries, such as when employer-sponsored plans are relocated or left. Part D drug plan awards are reasonable. Since most states have multiple plans to choose from, routine market economic supply and demand laws keep monthly drug plan premiums at a reasonably low rate. For example, in 2011, we had access to a plan for only $14.80/month.