Smiling child

Take A Minute for Medicare

This month we will begin a three part series about Medicare Part D enrollment. Medicare prescription drug coverage is voluntary, but you can not sign up whenever you want. Enrollment in Medicare Part D is limited to certain times. So, it is important to know when you can enroll. There are three periods when you can enroll in Part D; the Initial Enrollment Period, the Annual Enrollment Period, and Special Enrollment Period. We will start with the Initial Enrollment Period.

PART 1 – Initial Enrollment Period

Who can enroll in Medicare Part D?

In order to be eligible for Medicare Part D enrollment, you must:

  • Have Medicare Part A and/or Part B
  • Live in the service area of the plan that provides prescription drug coverage

When can I enroll in Medicare Part D?

When your Medicare begins you have an initial enrollment period for Medicare Part D. This initial enrollment period is a 7 month time period surrounding the month of eligibility for Medicare. The period begins 3 months before the month of eligibility for Medicare, the month of eligibility, and 3 months after. Let’s look at an enrollment timeline for Medicare effective April 1, 2017.

time for medicare

You may enroll in Medicare Part D anytime during these 7 months. Coverage will begin April 1, if you enroll anytime January through March 31. If you enroll in Part D during April, May, June or July, coverage under Part D will start the first of the month after the month you enroll. For example, you enroll in Part D in May, your Part D coverage will begin on June 1.

Next month we will discuss the Annual Enrollment Period.

For general Medicare questions, call DRW at 1-800-928-8778. For Medicare Part D questions, call the Disability Drug Benefit Helpline at 1-800-926-4862. You can also call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227), or visit to find out if Medicare covers your test, service, or item.