Can you drop Medicare Part D anytime?

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Whether you’re moving out of your plan’s service area or you’re no longer satisfied with your plan, you can drop or disenroll from your Medicare Part D prescription drug plan

To do so, you need to be aware of the different enrollment periods so you can disenroll completely, or switch to a separate Medicare Part D plan without facing penalties. 

When should I disenroll from my prescription drug plan?

You can drop or disenroll from your prescription drug plan during the Annual Open Enrollment Period (AEP), which starts on October 15 and lasts through December 7 every year. You can also disenroll during the Special Enrollment Period (SEP) when you are outside of the AEP and meet specific criteria:

  • You move outside of your plan’s service area
  • You lose your current coverage
  • You have the option to receive other coverage
  • The contract between your plan and Medicare changes

If you cancel your current Part D plan during the AEP, you will stop receiving prescription drug coverage on January 1. If you cancel your Part D plan during the SEP, then the cancellation will become effective the first day of the month following your disenrollment.

You can disenroll during the AEP by doing the following:

  • Calling Medicare
  • Mailing a written notice to the plan
  • Submitting a request online
  • Asking your plan to send you a disenrollment notice

What if I only want to switch plans?

If you only want to switch Part D plans and not disenroll completely, you can do so during the Fall Open Enrollment Period, also known as the Annual Open Enrollment Period, which starts on October 15 and lasts through December 7. You can enroll in a new Part D plan as many times as you would like, but keep in mind your last choice will take effect on January 1.

If you’re looking to change your Part D coverage with a Medicare Advantage Plan, you can do so during the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period, which starts on January 1 and lasts through March 31 every year.

How can I avoid late-enrollment penalties?

The answer to this question is relatively simple but significant: don’t miss the enrollment periods and have creditable drug coverage set in place if you disenroll.

If you leave your Part D plan with intentions of joining a new plan but did not have creditable drug coverage when you disenrolled, then when you re-enroll for a Part D plan, you will be charged a permanent late-enrollment penalty for each month you went without drug coverage. The penalty will be added to the cost of your premium.

Questions or concerns?

If you are interested in switching to a different Medicare Part D prescription drug plan or are looking to be a first-time enroller, talk to a licensed Medicare specialist at Bobby Brock Insurance today! We help thousands of Medicare beneficiaries all over the United States pick and keep the best Medicare plans suited to their needs. Give us a call today at 877-877-5505 or fill out our online form.

Justin Brock

Justin Brock

The CEO and President of Bobby Brock Insurance. A nationally syndicated Medicare advisor, best-selling author of Medicare Breakdown: The Alphabet Soup of Medicare, and pacesetter for over 20,000 senior market insurance agents. Featured in many insurance-related publications for his Medicare and Health insurance... Read More »

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