How do I switch to a new Medicare drug plan?

You can switch to a new Medicare drug plan simply by joining another drug plan during your Initial Open Enrollment, during General Enrollment Period, during Open Enrollment, anytime if you qualify for Extra Help, of during a Special Enrollment Period.


How do I drop a Medicare drug plan?

If you want to drop your Medicare drug plan, you can do so by calling 1-800-633-4227. TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048. You can also write to the plan and ask them to dis-enroll you. Once you drop your plan, you must wait for an enrollment period if you want to join another Medicare drug plan later. A late enrollment penalty may be assessed if you lack creditable prescription drug coverage.


What is the Part D late enrollment penalty?

The late enrollment penalty is a dollar amount which is added to your Part D premium. After your Initial Enrollment Period terminates, if you go 63 days in a row, or more, without Part D or other creditable prescription drug coverage, you may have to pay a late enrollment penalty.  This penalty will have to be paid for as long as you have Part D coverage.


Exception: If you get Extra Help, you don’t pay a late enrollment penalty.


There are ways you can avoid paying a penalty:


  • When you firs become eligible, join a Medicare drug plan. Regardless of whether you’re taking medications or not, it is advisable that you contemplate joining to avoid a penalty.  Some plan are available at small or no premiums.

  • Avoid going 63 days in a row, or more, with no Medicare drug plan or other creditable coverage. TRICARE coverage, employer group coverage, Veterans Affairs coverage, and Indian Health Services all offer creditable prescription drug coverage. Each year, you must be informed if your coverage is creditable or not.

  • If you have creditable coverage, you must inform your plan about it. Otherwise, your plan may assume that you don’t have any creditable coverage and may assess a late enrollment penalty. If assessed, this penalty will have to be paid for as long as you have Part D.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)