Medicare Part D Open Enrollment

When is Medicare Part D Open Enrollment?

Medicare Part D Open Enrollment is from Oct. 15-Dec. 7 each year. The effective date for your new prescription plan will be Jan. 1 of the following year. If you have further questions, please call and speak with a State Health Insurance Counseling (SHIC) program counselor at (701) 328-2440.

How can I review my plan and plan options?

You may contact the Insurance Department to speak with a State Health Insurance Counseling (SHIC) program counselor and book an appointment at (701) 328-2440 – Option 1.   You will be required to complete an online State Health Counseling (SHIC) Intake Questionnaire (SFN 61886).  If you do not need an appointment and just want plan comparisons sent to you, you can complete the online form and submit to us and the most cost effective plans that best fit your needs will be sent to you.  You can also contact a local insurance agency to find a plan during that time or review your options by using the Plan Finder Tool through at

When can I change my prescription plan?

Individiuals can change their prescription plan during the Open Enrollment period, which takes place every year from Oct. 15-Dec. 7.

I can’t afford my medications. What can I do?

The North Dakota Insurance Department offers a program called Prescription Connection to assist North Dakotans with finding programs they may qualify for to reduce their out-of-pocket expenses. If you are interested, please fill out a Prescription Connection Intake Application (SFN 58370).and return it. One of our SHIC counselors will assist you.

Is the Insurance Department taking any appointments?

The Insurance Department is not currently accepting walk-ins or any face-to-face counseling sessions. Out of concern for North Dakotans and our staff, we will be assisting by telephone only. 

When can I change my supplement?

You may change your supplement plan at any time. However, you may be subject to underwriting for approval. Do not cancel your current plan until you have an effective start date for a new one. 

When can I change from Medicare Advantage back to Original Medicare?

Individuals may change from a Medicare Advantage plan back to Original Medicare during the annual Open Enrollment period, which is Oct. 15-Dec. 7.

When is the general enrollment period?

If you miss your initial enrollment period when you first are eligible for Medicare, you may sign up from Jan. 1-March 31 and your coverage will begin July 1. 

How long do I have to sign up for Medicare?

Individuals are first eligible to enroll for Medicare three months before the month during which they turn 65 and continues for three months after the month during which they turn 65. If you have an exception, please call the Insurance Department at (701) 328-4460.

How long after I retire do I have to sign up for Medicare?

Please submit a Contact Form or call the Insurance Department at (701) 328-4460 as each scenario is different for each beneficiary. 

What companies are available in North Dakota for Medicare Supplements?

Please visit our Medicare Supplement page for more information. You may also contact a local agent for assistance in locating a plan.

How do I sign up for Medicare Parts A and B?

Please visit the Social Security Administration website to enroll electronically or call (800) 772-1213 to contact your local Social Security office for assistance.

How do I contact Medicare directly?

You may contact Medicare at (800) 663-4227 ((800) MEDI-CARE) or visit

I am new to Medicare and have already signed up for Part D. Can I change my Part D if I've found a different one?

Yes, Part D plans can be changed if you are within your initial enrollment period, the three months from when you started Medicare, or during the annual Open Enrollment  period, which is Oct. 15-Dec. 7. 

When do new Medicare Supplement Plans come out?

Medicare Supplement rates are released each year, typically on Jan. 1. Any changes will be posted on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services website

Am I guaranteed a new Medigap Plan?

Yes, if you are within your initial enrollment period, meaning you are new to Medicare and have seven months to enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan. Once you’re outside of your initial enrollment period, you may not have the right to buy a Medigap Plan with federal guarantees and protections.

What is Medicare Advantage?

Medicare Advantage is the private health insurance alternative to the federally funded Original Medicare. Think of Advantage as of a one-stop-shop choice that combines various parts of Medicare into one plan. The federal government requires these plans to cover everything like original Medicare covers, and some plans pay for services that Original Medicare does not, including dental and vision care. Most plans have prescription drug coverage folded in.

What is Medicare Part C?

Medicare Part C is another name for Medicare Advantage plans. Individuals can choose to either enroll in Original Medicare or Part C/Medicare Advantage.

What do I need for Medicare coverage?

Individuals need to be enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B, and either choose a Medicare Supplement and a Part D prescription drug plan, or enroll in Medicare Parts A and B, and sign up for a Medicare Advantage plan that may offer prescription drug coverage. If your selected Medicare Advantage plan doesn’t cover prescription drugs, you will need to enroll in a Part D plan to avoid the potential penalty.

Will I be penalized for not having a Medicare Part D plan?

Typically, you can be penalized for not carrying a Medicare Part D plan when first eligible. The penalty is a monthly fee assessed for not having coverage. Exceptions apply if you are still under an employer group plan and its credible coverage or if you have VA benefits.