When Is The Best Time To Sign Up For A Medicare Advantage Or A Prescription Drug Plan?
Unless you have better healthcare or drug coverage from another source, the best time to buy a Medicare Advantage (Part C) or Prescription Drug (Part D) plan is right after you become eligible for Original Medicare.‡ This could be during your Initial Enrollment Period when you turn 65, when you are eligible because of disability, or another reason or if you have a qualifying disease.
If you don’t sign up during your Initial Enrollment Period you will have to wait until the October 15 to December 7 Annual Enrollment Period (AEP).2 You may also qualify for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP)1 that allows you to sign up at other times during the year. You may be subject to Part D late enrollment penalties if you don’t enroll in a Part D plan or a Medicare Advantage plan that includes Part D when you’re first eligible.
Even if you’re in good health and don’t use prescription drugs now, purchasing a Part D or Medicare Advantage plan for the future is a good idea. Your health and medication needs can change quickly and adding coverage over Original Medicare‡ can protect you from paying unexpected costs.