Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage

Frequently Asked Questions

12. What is the best time of the month to sign up for a Medicare drug plan?

If a person decides to join a Medicare prescription drug plan, it is best to enroll early in the month. This gives the plan sufficient time to mail the membership card, acknowledgement letter, and welcome package before the coverage becomes effective. This way, even if the person goes to the pharmacy on the first day of coverage, the prescription(s) can be filled without delay.

In most cases, if the person joins a Medicare drug plan, coverage is effective the first day of the month after the month the person joins. Enrollment is generally for the calendar year. The person can switch plans from November 15 through December 31 each year if his or her coverage or needs change. In this case, coverage begins January 1 of the following year.

After a person joins a Medicare drug plan, the plan will mail out membership materials, including a card to use when getting prescriptions filled. When using the card, the person may have to pay a co-payment, co-insurance, and/or deductible if any are charged by the plan.

For more information about Medicare Part D, visit and click on “Drug Coverage” (Part D) tab You may also call 1-800-Medicare (1-800-633-4227). TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048.