If you are newly eligible for Medicare, you have 7 months for your Initial Enrollment Period. To avoid a late enrollment penalty, you must enroll in a Part D plan – from NRECA or another provider – when you first become eligible for Medicare.
If you are no longer working and do not have creditable coverage through another prescription drug plan when you reach age 65, you may enroll in Medicare Part D anytime from the first of the month that is three months before your 65th birthday through the last day of the month that is three months after your 65th birthday.
For instance, if you reach age 65 on June 11, you may enroll in Medicare between March 1 and September 30.
If you enroll during the three months before the month of your 65th birthday, your coverage becomes effective on the first day of your birthday month.
If your birthday is the first of the month, your Initial Enrollment Period shifts one month earlier.
For instance, if your birthday is June 1, then you must enroll between February 1 and August 30. Your coverage becomes effective on May 1 if you enroll during February-April, the first three months of your Initial Enrollment Period.
You may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period if
- You become eligible for Extra Help because you have limited income.
- You retire after age 65.
- You lose your creditable coverage through an employer plan.
- You move into or out of a long-term care facility.
- You meet other requirements defined by Medicare; call NRECA’s Member Contact Center if you think you qualify.