How to Apply for Medicare D
Medicare Part D is a form of government-backed insurance for seniors that provides prescription drug coverage.
Enroll in Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) or Medicare Part B (medical insurance). You must belong to one of these insurance programs to enroll in Part D. To qualify for either Medicare Part A or B, you must be a U.S. citizen and at least 65 years old. To determine whether you are eligible for or are already enrolled in Medicare, call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) or visit www.medicare.gov/medicareeligibility.
Select a Medicare Part D plan. Medicare Part D plans vary by state, cost and coverage. To see the options for plans in your area, visit www.medicare.gov/MPDPF and click on the “Find and Compare Plans” button.
Consider the cost, including premiums, the amount you must pay each month, and deductibles, the amount money you have to pay for drugs before your plan will kick in. Also be aware of the “coverage gap.” If you have high drug costs, often plans will pay 100 percent of your costs until you reach $2,700. Then you must pay out-of-pocket $4,350 before the plan will pay additional money for your prescriptions. The period where you must pay out-of-pocket is referred to as a “coverage gap” or the “donut hole.” You should also note the types of drugs each plan covers, called formularies, in comparison to the prescriptions you take. Some plans, for example, might only cover the generic version of a particular drug and not a name-brand prescription. In addition, make sure the plan works with a pharmacy that is convenient to where you live.
Enroll online. Take note of the plan name or number; visit www.medicare.gov/MPDPF and click on the “Enroll online” button. If you are enrolled in Medicare and Medicaid, you can join a Part D program at any point during the year. If you have recently joined Medicare, you can enroll any time within 3 months of joining the program. In most other cases, you can only enroll or switch your Part D plan between November 15 and December 31 each year.