I turned 65 in February and did not enroll in a Medicare prescription drug plan. I have been told that I must wait until October for Medicare’s Annual Enrollment time. I need help now because I have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s and my brand-name prescription is awfully expensive. I thought I could enroll at any time of the year. What can I do?
James, from Memphis
Medicare’s Annual Enrollment is for enrolling in or changing a standalone Part D Medicare prescription drug plan or a Part C Medicare Advantage plan.
This year’s Medicare Annual Enrollment starts on Saturday, October 15, and it will end at midnight on December 7th (Pearl Harbor Day). All plans will have January 1st as their start date.
This is the time when you can make changes to your Medicare Part D prescription drug plan or Medicare Part C Advantage plan, or you can initially enroll if you missed your enrollment time when you were first eligible, as you did, James, when you turned 65.
Important: Medicare Annual Enrollment does not include changing or enrolling in a Medicare Supplement.
Changes a Medicare Beneficiary Can Make During the Annual Enrollment Period
- Enroll in a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan.
- Change from one Part D plan to a new Part D drug plan.
- Enroll in a Part C Medicare Advantage plan that includes prescription drugs
- Change from one Part C Medicare Advantage Plan (with or without a prescription drug plan) to a new Part C Medicare Advantage plan
- Return to Original Medicare and purchase a Medicare Supplement and enroll in a stand-alone Part D Medicare prescription drug plan
- Return to Original Medicare only and enroll in a Part D Medicare prescription drug plan
- Return to Original Medicare with no Part D plan (don’t forget, there’s a penalty for not enrolling in a Part D plan when first eligible!)
For those who already have either a Medicare Advantage plan with or without prescription drugs or a stand-alone Part D plan, Medicare’s Annual Enrollment is the time to make sure your drug plan or Medicare Advantage plan still meets your needs, especially if you’ve had any changes to your health.
Medicare Annual Enrollment
Confused about whether a new Medicare plan is right for you? Chapter 6 of the Medicare Survival Guide Advanced Edition details various situations during Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period, such as “still working past 65” or “doctor not accepting my Medicare Advantage plan.” Now is the time to explore your options!
Visit Medicare.gov to view 2023 Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage plans with enrollment starting Saturday, October 15. The website has a tool for helping you narrow your search for new Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug plans.
It is wise to verify every year that your prescription drugs are covered on your Part D Medicare Prescription Drug plan. Medicare Advantage or Prescriptions Drug plans can change their prescription drug formulary each year and if your prescriptions are not covered for the next year, you may have to pay 100% of that prescription out of your pocket if it is not covered on your Part D plan.
Have a Medicare concern or question? Please email the Toni Says® office at [email protected].
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Medicare Survival Guide Advanced Edition
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What You Don’t Know Will Hurt You!
Turning 65 in America is a milestone and one of the markers is enrolling in Medicare. But the system is so complicated, and there is a lot of false information out there.
In Toni King’s Medicare Survival Guide Advanced: Basics and Beyond, Toni gives you the critical steps you need to enroll in Medicare properly. Toni shares various situations that she has experienced with her many clients during Medicare consultations, and gives you the information and tools you need to enroll on time to avoid the “famous” Medicare Part B and D penalties.
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Learn How to Enroll the Correct Way
• Still Working Past 65
• Turning 65
• VA Benefits
• Laid-off or Retiring
What Medicare Option Is Best for You
• Medicare Supplement vs. Advantage
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How to Avoid
• The Donut Hole
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