When Can I Switch My Medicare Part D Drug Plan?

Learn when your Medicare Part D plan can be changed

by Ray Wilson+ on Jun 08, 2019 | 2 Comments

If you want to switch your Part D plan, otherwise known as your Medicare prescription drug plan, you have very specific times in which this is allowed. We get a lot of calls from clients looking to switch from one Part D to another Part D plan throughout the year, so, we thought we’d give you the skinny on how and when you can switch.

This article has been updated on June 7th 2019.

When Can I Switch My Part D Plan?

For most people, there is only time a year to switch your Part D plan to another Part D plan: Open Enrollment. Medicare’s Open Enrollment period, also known as Medicare’s Annual Election period, runs from October 15 through December 7. Outside of this period you most likely will not be able to switch plans. There are a few exceptions which we will list below.

How Can I Switch Part D Outside of Open Enrollment?

There are a few Special Enrollment qualifying events that allow you to switch a Medicare prescription drug plan outside of Medicare’s Open Enrollment:

  • Your Part D or Medicare Advantage company goes out of business
  • Your Part D or Medicare Advantage plan misled you
  • If you find a Medicare 5-star rated plan, you can change your Part D at anytime of the year to the 5-star plan*

*While 5-star drug plans are available in some areas, as this is the highest rating Medicare gives, they are not always available in all areas.

Next Steps

If you want to apply for a Part D plan during Open Enrollment or have a Special Enrollment qualifying event, you will want to collect all your current prescribed drugs and dosages, and call one of our licensed independent insurance agents at 800-930-7956. We will help you find a plan that covers your drugs, and is the most cost effective for your needs.

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Reader Comments and Questions

(Click here to leave a comment)

By tanya brach on April 06, 2016

i'll be 65 in july. do i have to wait until october to sign up for drug coveerage?

Tanya,
When you are new to Medicare, you do not enroll for a prescription drug plan during Open Enrollment (Open Enrollment is for switching plans). You will enroll during your 7-month Medicare initial enrollment period -starts 3 month before your birth month -so, you should be able to sign up now (as long as you have your red, white, and blue Medicare card). To learn which Part D drug plan is right for you, call one of our licensed independent insurance agents at 800-930-7956.
-Chris from https://www.senior65.com/


By Alan on March 22, 2016

There are no Medicare Advantage 5-star plans in my area, does that mean that I have to wait until October to apply? Will my plan start in November if I sign up in October?

Alan,
If you don't qualify for a Special Enrollment period, and there are no 5 star plans in your area, then you will have to wait until Medicare's Open Enrollment which starts in October; however, all plans will begin January 1.
-Amy from https://www.senior65.com/



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