If you are looking for a step-by-step guide on how to enroll in Medicare Part D, then you have come to the right place! You can also follow the enrollment process in our video below.
Medicare Part D Self-Enrollment – What you will see first
The first thing you need to do is type in your zip code. Before you hit “view plans,” make sure that your correct county is listed: Some zip codes out there have multiple counties, and there could be different plans depending upon what county you are in (or even different prices.)
Now you see four different tabs:
- Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug Plans, also known as MAPD plans
- Medicare Advantage Plans, which are just Medicare Advantage with no prescription drug benefit to them
- Prescription drug plans only
- Medicare supplement plans
Selecting a Plan
For the most part, you are going to ignore Medicare supplement plans: As you can see, there is not a lot, and you don’t see any pricing. So, if you would like a quote for a Medicare supplement, give us a call, and we can provide you with a personalized quote.
Let’s say you are looking for a prescription drug plan. Click on that section, and you can see all the plans in your area with the carriers we work with. If you don’t take any prescription drugs, then you might be able to just sort these based on your annual cost or your monthly plan payments. However, if you do take a prescription drug, you’ll want to make sure to put that information in first before deciding which plan might be right for you: After all, the first one that comes up might not be the best one depending upon your medication.
Now we assume you go ahead and enter your required prescription
- Click the “add preferences” button
- Click on “Prescription drug”
- In the dropdown, you can select whether you’re getting any extra savings from Medicaid, Social Security, or a Medicare savings program. If none of these apply to you, select that you’re not eligible for any extra help, or if you don’t know, then select “I don’t know. But let’s say I know I’m not eligible for any extra help. I’m going to hit that and hit continue.
Your Prescription Medication
You can either type in your prescription manually or connect it to your Medicare.gov account. As you start to type in the prescription, you should see it pop up in the dropdown menu. Just make sure that you select the correct one. Then it’ll show you the dosage, quantity, and frequency of the prescription. Make your selection and hit ”add.” Once you are done with all your prescriptions, hit continue. The system will now take you to the pharmacy lookup.
If you don’t see your pharmacy right away, you can type the name and then hit “search.” If you search for “Publix,” for example, the Publix pharmacy closest to your zip code will pop up, and you can hit “add.” Then hit “continue.” If there are no other preferences to select, hit “continue.”
Now you see a list of all of the drug plans. Now you can find the one that will cost you the least, go to the page and hit “total estimated cost.” This includes your prescription drug cost and the monthly premium to having the plan.
If you want more information on this drug plan, hit “plan details,” and you can see the details of the plan itself, like the monthly premium and the annual deductible.
Preferred Pharmacy and Standard Pharmacy
There are two types of pharmacies:
- preferred pharmacy
- standard pharmacy
With a preferred pharmacy, you’ll get your prescriptions at a potentially lower cost than if you went to a standard pharmacy.
So it might show you for a tier 1 drug a cost of $1 at a preferred pharmacy vs. $19 at a standard pharmacy. In addition, you can see the mail-order pricing for a three-month supply. You can also pull up the formulary.
Let’s say your doctor wants you on a new medication, but you want to know the expected cost of your current drug plan. You could go to the formulary and type in the drug’s name. It’ll tell you the tier that that drug is on. You can now compare the numbers, and you’ll have an idea of what you’ll be paying for that prescription.
You can also see a position for potentially non-covered prescriptions
“Total cost” will break down what you will be spending monthly on your drug plan: the monthly premium and the drug cost. Now, if you choose to enroll in this plan, click the yellow “add to cart button,” and you’re going to see the plan listed.
If you want to change your decision, you can hit remove, and your selection will be removed from your cart. Otherwise, if you choose to enroll in this plan, go ahead, and you will be redirected to a carrier form where you can complete your enrollment. Then hit “continue.”
The next step of this Medicare Part D self-enrollment process is a form where you have to select your eligibility. Typically, there are only certain times when you can enroll in a prescription drug plan. One of them is when you’re going through your initial enrollment period, which is that seven-month window of three months before you turn 65, the month you turn 65, and up to three months after you turn 65. You can also enroll during the annual election period, which runs from October 15th to December 7th. And that’s where you can also change your prescription drug plan from year to year if you’re already on Medicare.
For this case, let’s assume that you are just turning 65 and are enrolling for Medicare for the first time. Select the respective box and request the start of the coverage. Then fill in your information. Some parts are optional, but you need to fill in everything marked with a red asterisk :
- date of birth
If you have a separate mailing address, like a PO box you want to use for all of your mail, you can select “yes” and put in that alternative address. Otherwise, if your resident address is the address you want things mailed to, you can select “no: and hit “next.”
Now when you get to this page, you’ll have to start putting in your personal Medicare number, i.e., the 11 letters and numbers on your Medicare card. Don’t worry about putting in any dashes. Just type in the numbers and letters as you see them. Then you can put in your part A and part B effective dates, which are listed below your Medicare number on your card as well.
Then keep scrolling.
Unless you have VA benefits or Tricare or some type of employee health benefit, you’ll hit “no,” indicating that you’re not going to have any other drug coverage.
Another “no,” unless you live in a long-term care facility.
Pick which language you prefer (Spanish or English.)
Finalizing the Self-Enrollment for Medicare Part D
For the explanation of benefits, you can either select to receive it electronically via email or in a letter via regular mail. So if you do want it to email to you, make sure you put in your email address both times in the two respective boxes.
If you prefer to receive it in the mail, just select that option and hit “next.”
Next, you’ll have to put in which type of payment you would like to use for the monthly premium.
Then you finally get to review the information and submit the application.
If you have any questions about the enrollment process for Medicare Part D or want to discuss Medicare Advantage plans or Medicare supplement plans, feel free to give us a call. We are more than happy to help!