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Important Dates to Remember

When Can I Join a Prescription Drug Plan?

(1) If you currently have Medicare Hospital or Medicare Medical Insurance (Parts A and/or B), you can enroll or re-enroll in a Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan (PDP) or Medicare Advantage Plan with Prescription Coverage (MA.PD) starting on October 15 through December 7 of each year.

This tIme period is called the Annual Coordinated Election Period and your newly chosen Medicare Part D plan begins on January 1of the following year.

So, for the 2015 Medicare Part D Plans, you can enroll between October 15 2014 and December 7, 2014. Your 2015 Plan will begin January 1, 2015. For the 2016 Plans, you can enroll between October 15, 2015 and December 7, 2015.See below for more plan year specific dates

(2) If you turn 65 or become eligible for Medicare outside of the Annual Coordinated Election Period, you have a seven (7) month window in which to enroll in the current year's plan (2015) and avoid any possible penalties:
- the three (3) months before the month of your eligibility (for instance, your Birthday month)
- the month of your eligibility (e.g. the month you turn 65)
- and, the three (3) months after the month you become eligible for Medicare (again, three months after your Birthday month).

Your coverage will begin either on the first day of your Birthday month or, when you join during or after your Birthday month, on the first day of the month after the month in which you join.

TIP Please note, to ensure the smoothest possible transition into your new Medicare Part D plan, try to enroll before the middle of the month - this allows time for the processing of your enrollment application.


:: General Medicare Part D Dates
:: 2015 Medicare Part D Dates
:: 2016 Medicare Part D Dates


General Medicare Part D Dates

  • October 1 of each year - Medicare Part D Prescription Drug plan Marketing Activities can begin for the next year's plan- At this time you will be able to once again gather information and evaluate the various Part D plan alternatives.
  • Please note, no enrollments may be accepted before October 15th for plans starting in the new year (ex: On October 1, 2015, we will begin showing plan information for the plans that will become effective January 1, 2016). The only enrollments that can be accepted before October 15th are those for people turning 65 (who want to enroll in a current year plan) or for Medicaid recipients wanting to change their current year plan.
  • October 15 to December 7 of each year - Starting for plan year 2013, the Annual Coordinated Election Period has been moved up - Here is your chance to join a Medicare Part D plan for the new plan year (however your plan will not take effect until January 1st of the new year ). If you already have a Medicare Part D plan, this is your time to look back over year and make another decision for your coverage for next year. Should you stay with your existing coverage or make a change? Here is your opportunity to decide. If you make no decision, you will remain in the same plan as you elected this year. There is no enrollment required to renew your present coverage. (If you do not enroll during this period, your next chance for coverage is January of the year after next.)
  • January 1 of each year - Your new Medicare Part D plan becomes effective and you will be able to begin using your Part D benefits (your old plan will automatically be discontinued).
  • January 1 to February 14 of each year - The Dis-enrollment Period takes effect. Members of Medicare Advantage plans have an opportunity to return to Original Medicare and a Stand-alone Medicare Part D plan. The Open Enrollment Period of prior years (Jan 1st - Mar 31) has been discontinued.
  • January 1 to December 31 of each year - Persons turning 65 can enroll in the current year Medicare Part D Plan. Medicaid recipients can enroll or change their enrollment in a current year Part D Prescription Drug plan.
See below for examples

:: What is Our Family and Friends Suggestion?


2015 Medicare Part D Dates

  • October 1, 2014 - Medicare Part D Prescription Drug plan Marketing Activities can begin for the 2015 Part D plans - At this time you will be able to once again gather information and evaluate the various Part D plan alternatives.
  • Please note, no enrollments may be accepted before October 15, 2014 for 2015 plans.
  • October 15 to December 7, 2014 - Annual Coordinated Election Period - Here is your chance to join a Medicare Part D plan for the 2015 plan year (however your plan will not take effect until January 1, 2015 ). If you already have a Medicare Part D plan, this is your time to look back over 2014 and make an enrollment decision for your coverage for 2015. Should you stay with your existing coverage or make a change? If you make no decision, you will remain in the same plan as you elected in 2014. There is no enrollment required to renew your present coverage. If you do not enroll during this period, your next chance for coverage is January 2016.
  • January 1, 2015 - Your new Medicare Part D plan becomes effective and you will be able to begin using your Part D benefits (your old plan will automatically be discontinued).
  • January 1 to February 14, 2015 - Members of Medicare Advantage Plans may Dis-enroll from their Medicare Advantage Plan returning to Original Medicare and select a stand-alone Medicare Part D plan.
  • January 1 to December 31, 2015 - Persons turning 65 can enroll in a 2015 Medicare Part D Plan. Medicaid recipients can enroll or change their enrollment in a 2015 Medicare Part D Plan.

:: Top

2016 Medicare Part D Dates

  • October 1, 2015 - Medicare Part D Prescription Drug plan Marketing Activities can begin for the 2016 Part D plans - At this time you will be able to once again gather information and evaluate the various Part D plan alternatives.
  • Please note, no enrollments may be accepted before October 15, 2015 for 2016 plans.
  • October 15 to December 7, 2015 - Annual Coordinated Election Period - Here is your chance to join a Medicare Part D plan for the 2016 plan year (however your plan will not take effect until January 1, 2016 ). If you already have a Medicare Part D plan, this is your time to look back over 2015 and make an enrollment decision for your coverage for 2016. Should you stay with your existing coverage or make a change? If you make no decision, you will remain in the same plan as you elected in 2015. There is no enrollment required to renew your present coverage. (If you do not enroll during this period, your next chance for coverage is January 2017.)
  • January 1, 2016 - Your new Medicare Part D plan becomes effective and you will be able to begin using your Part D benefits (your old plan will automatically be discontinued).
  • January 1 to February 14, 2016 - Members of Medicare Advantage Plans may Dis-enroll from their Medicare Advantage Plan returning to Original Medicare and select a stand-alone Medicare Part D plan.
  • January 1 to December 31, 2016 - Persons turning 65 can enroll in a 2016 Medicare Part D Plan. Medicaid recipients can enroll or change their enrollment in a 2016 Medicare Part D Plan.

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Last updated on: 10/23/2013

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Tips & Disclaimers
  • The Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D prescription drug plan data on our site comes directly from Medicare and is subject to change.
  • Medicare has neither reviewed nor endorsed the information on our site.
  • We provide our Q1Medicare.com site for educational purposes and strive to present unbiased and accurate information. However, Q1Medicare is not intended as a substitute for your lawyer, doctor, healthcare provider, financial advisor, or pharmacist. For more information on your Medicare coverage, please be sure to seek legal, medical, pharmaceutical, or financial advice from a licensed professional or telephone Medicare at 1-800-633-4227.
  • Benefits, formulary, pharmacy network, provider network, premium and/or co-payments/co-insurance may change on January 1 of each year. Our PDP-Compare.com and MA-Compare.com provide highlights of annual plan benefit changes.
  • The benefit information provided is a brief summary, not a complete description of benefits. For more information contact the plan.
  • Limitations, copayments, and restrictions may apply.
  • We make every effort to show all available Medicare Part D or Medicare Advantage plans in your service area. However, since our data is provided by Medicare, it is possible that this may not be a complete listing of plans available in your service area. For a complete listing please contact 1-800-MEDICARE (TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048), 24 hours a day/7 days a week or consult www.medicare.gov.
  • When enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan, you must continue to pay your Medicare Part B premium.
  • Medicare beneficiaries with higher incomes may be required to pay both a Medicare Part B and Medicare Part D Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amount (IRMAA). Read more on IRMAA.
  • Medicare Advantage plans that include prescription drug coverage (MAPDs) are considered Medicare Part D plans and members with higher incomes may be subject to the Medicare Part D Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amount (IRMAA), just as members in stand-alone Part D plans. In certain situations, you can appeal IRMAA.
  • You must be enrolled in both Medicare Part A and Part B to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan. Members may enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan only during specific times of the year. Contact the Medicare plan for more information.
  • If you are enrolled in a Medicare plan with Part D prescription drug coverage, you may be eligible for financial Extra Help to assist with the payment of your prescription drug premiums and drug purchases. To see if you qualify for Extra Help, call: 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048, 24 hours a day/ 7 days a week or consult www.medicare.gov; the Social Security Office at 1-800-772-1213 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. TTY users should call, 1-800-325-0778; or your state Medicaid Office.
  • Medicare evaluates plans based on a 5-Star rating system. Star Ratings are calculated each year and may change from one year to the next.
  • A Medicare Advantage Private Fee-for-Service plan (PFFS) is not a Medicare supplement plan. Providers who do not contract with the plan are not required to see you except in an emergency.
  • Disclaimer for Institutional Special Needs Plan (SNP): This plan is available to anyone with Medicare who meets the Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) level of care and resides in a nursing home.
  • Disclaimer for Dual Eligible (Medicare/Medicaid) Special Needs Plan (SNP): This plan is available to anyone who has both Medical Assistance from the State and Medicare. Premiums, co-pays, co-insurance, and deductibles may vary based on the level of Extra Help you receive. Please contact the plan for further details.
  • Disclaimer for Chronic Condition Special Needs Plan (SNP): This plan is available to anyone with Medicare who has been diagnosed with the plan specific Chronic Condition.
  • Medicare MSA Plans combine a high deductible Medicare Advantage Plan and a trust or custodial savings account (as defined and/or approved by the IRS). The plan deposits money from Medicare into the account. You can use this money to pay for your health care costs, but only Medicare-covered expenses count toward your deductible. The amount deposited is usually less than your deductible amount, so you generally have to pay out-of-pocket before your coverage begins.
  • Medicare MSA Plans do not cover prescription drugs. If you join a Medicare MSA Plan, you can also join any separate (stand-alone) Medicare Part D prescription drug plan
  • There are additional restrictions to join an MSA plan, and enrollment is generally for a full calendar year unless you meet certain exceptions. Those who disenroll during the calendar year will owe a portion of the account deposit back to the plan. Contact the plan provider for additional information.
  • Medicare beneficiaries may enroll through the CMS Medicare Online Enrollment Center located at www.medicare.gov.
  • Medicare beneficiaries can file a complaint with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services by calling 1-800-MEDICARE 24 hours a day/7 days or using the medicare.gov site. Beneficiaries can appoint a representative by submitting CMS Form-1696.


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