Enrollment election periods
Initial Enrollment Periods
You may qualify for an Initial Enrollment Period if you:
- Are turning 65.
- Receive Medicare due to a disability. You can join three months before and after your 24th month of cash disability benefits.
Annual Election Period
The Annual Election Period is November 15 - December 31, with elections taking effect January 1 of the following year.
Special Enrollment Periods
The government has determined that if you meet certain conditions, you may be eligible to enroll in a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan after the Annual Election Period has ended. These conditions initiate a Special Enrollment Period (SEP).
You may qualify for a SEP if you:
- Are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug (MA-PD) plan and leave that plan to enroll in original Medicare plus a Medicare prescription drug plan during the Medicare Advantage Plans Open Enrollment Period. This enrollment period runs January 1 - March 31 each year.
- Move permanently outside your plan's service area.
- Have enrolled in another prescription drug plan or a Medicare Advantage Plan whose contract is terminated.
- Are not adequately informed about creditable prescription drug coverage.
- Lose your previous creditable coverage through no action of your own.
- Have been enrolled or disenrolled by error by a Federal employee or contractor hired by the Federal government.
- Were eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid (a “dual eligible”) but lost your dual eligibility status.
- Want to move from an employer group or union-sponsored prescription drug plan to a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan during the group's open enrollment period.
- Want to leave your current Medicare Prescription Drug Plan because the Federal government has determined the plan violated a material provision of its Medicare contract in relation to services provided to you.
- Are enrolled in a plan that isn't renewing its contract with Medicare.
- Want to move from a Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) to a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan.
- Live in - or are moving in or out of - a skilled nursing facility, nursing facility, intermediate care facility for the mentally retarded, psychiatric hospital or unit, rehabilitation hospital or unit, long-term care hospital or swing-bed hospital.
- Have a Medicare entitlement determination that is made retroactively.
- Are not eligible for premium free Part A and enroll in Medicare Part B during the January - March 2009 Part B General Enrollment Period.
- Have a low-income subsidy. People with limited incomes can get extra help. Premiums may be reduced or eliminated, and other payments may be less. See if you qualify. If you qualify for a low-income subsidy, the late enrollment penalty does not apply.
- Qualify for other special enrollment periods that may be authorized by the Federal government.
If you think any of these situations apply to you or if you have any questions about your eligibility for a SEP, please contact Customer Service. You may need to provide information regarding reimbursement of Medicare Prescription Drug Plan costs through other insurance, group health plan or other third-party payment arrangement.