Fast Facts: Medicare Open Enrollment


Medicare open enrollment is the annual period during which you can review, compare and select your health care plan choices, including your Medicare Part D prescription drug plan.


Open enrollment for 2017 starts on Sunday, October 15, 2017 and closes on Thursday, December 7, 2017.


Medicare Part D plans are available to those eligible for Medicare.

  • If you turn 65 this year, you can enroll during the three months before the month you turn 65, your birthday month and the three months after.
  • If you are under 65 and have been eligible for Social Security disability payments for two years, have permanent kidney failure, or meet a number of other conditions, you may be eligible for Medicare.
  • Some people with limited resources and income may qualify for the Extra Help program to pay for some of the costs related to a Medicare prescription drug plan. If you qualify for Extra Help, you can enroll anytime.


This time period is an opportunity for you to evaluate and update your current prescription drug plan based on your cost and individual health needs, or enroll for the first time.

  • Prescription drug plans change and new plans become available each year that could offer better coverage and/or save you money.


Call Medicare at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) or visit


Ask a family member, friend or caregiver to evaluate your options with you and help decide which prescription drug plan best fits your needs. Here are a few things to consider:

o   Does the plan cover the medications you currently take or expect to take?

o   In addition to the monthly premium, what are your expected out-of-pocket medication costs for 2014 under different plans?

o   What pharmacies can you use to get your medications under different plans?

o   How is a plan performing based on its Star Rating?

Check out the Medicare Plan Finder at, which provides details on the prescription drug plans available in your area.

Visit the National Council on Aging’s “My Medicare Matters” website ( and click on “Prescription Drugs” for resources on how to choose or switch Medicare Part D plans.

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