Insurance, Retirement

Medicare Part D annual open enrollment is coming soon

October 16, 2013

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services recommend that everyone enrolled in a Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan review their coverage each fall to make certain their plan for the following calendar year will cover all their prescriptions.

Even if your medicines don’t change, a plan that's right for you one year may not be your best plan the next year because of changes in Medicare prescription drug plan premiums and coverages.

During the Annual Open Enrollment, October 15, 2013 – December 7, 2013, you can shop and switch into a new Medicare drug plan. Your new plan will take effect on January 1, 2014, as long as the plan gets your request by December 7. There is no fee or penalty for changing plans, but after the December 7 deadline, it is not possible to switch plans without waiting a full year for the next open enrollment.

Use the free Medicare Part D information services

One way to evaluate the various plans is to use the computer program provided by Medicare at

If you prefer to talk with a person, you may get free advice on how to compare the various options by using the Transamerica Part D Advisor program. Whether you are new to Medicare Part D or reconsidering your current Part D plan, this service can help.

You can reach Transamerica's experts at 1-800-235-9922, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time. They will provide participating plan comparisons and rates to help you decide on the plan that’s right for you.

Turning 65?

If you are first entering Medicare, you have a specific seven-month window to enroll in a Medicare prescription drug plan. For example, if you are entering Medicare at age 65, the window consists of the three months before your 65th birthday, the month of your 65th birthday, and the three months after your birthday.

Late penalty

If you do not enroll in a Medicare Part D plan when you are eligible, you may have to pay a penalty. The late enrollment penalty is a percentage attached to the premiums of each Part D plan you enroll in thereafter. Also, if asked by your plan about other drug coverage you have had, be sure to provide a complete disclosure. Failure to tell the plan about your creditable prescription drug coverage can also cause you to pay a penalty.

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