There is a speciﬁc time period when you can enroll in a Medicare Part D plan that depends on a variety of factors. For instance, as you approach age 65, Medicare allows you to enroll in a prescription drug plan beginning three months before the month of your 65th birthday, during the month of your 65th birthday, and ending three months after your birthday month. This is the Initial Enrollment Period (IEP). Note there is an exception: if your birthday falls on the ﬁrst day of any month, your 7-month Initial Enrollment Period begins and ends one month sooner. If you’re under 65, you are eligible to enroll in Medicare if you have a qualifying disability and receive a Social Security disability beneﬁt. You will have a 7-month enrollment window that opens 3 months before your 25th month of receiving Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board beneﬁts and ends 3 months afterwards.
If you do not have creditable insurance coverage with another plan and do not enroll during your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP), you will be subject to a Part D Late Enrollment Penalty (LEP). If you enroll in a Part D plan at a later time, the LEP will be added to your monthly Part D premium.
You may also enroll in a prescription drug plan during the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP). This occurs October 15th through December 7th of every year.
Alternately, you may enroll when you have a circumstantial change such as moving or involuntary loss of coverage. This is considered a Special Enrollment Period (SEP).