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AARP Medicare Part D Enrollment Guidelines

Pill Bottle and Pills Spilled on Top of CurrencyFollow these AARP Part D enrollment guidelines

Whether you are newly enrolled in Medicare or whether you are used to the annual ritual of comparing Part D plans, you will need to follow some guidelines.

First, let’s clear up a misconception about AARP Part D enrollment.

You  DO NOT need to be a member of AARP to enroll. In fact, the plans are insured through United Healthcare, not AARP.

Guidelines for AARP plans are the same as any other companies plans. You must:

  • Be eligible for Medicare
  • Live within a plan’s service area
  • Enroll during an appropriate election period

Unless you are entitled to a Special Election Period, you will normally compare plans beginning October 1st and submit an application between October 15th and December 7th.

If you feel you have made an error submitting an application, you can submit a new application and as long as you are within the enrollment period, the last application will stand.

Part D plans become effective on January 1st and are for the entire calendar year.

Two ways to receive AARP Part D

There are two ways to receive your Part D benefits from an AARP branded Part D plan.

You can enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan such as AARP MedicareComplete Insured Through United Healthcare or you can enroll in a stand alone plan.

If you are going to receive your Medicare benefits through Medicare only or Medicare with an AARP supplemental plan, you should consider a stand alone plan.

Plan Choices

AARP Medicare Rx Preferred PDP is a plan with a basic formulary that includes the most popular drugs required by people on Medicare.

The plan is popular because the premiums are reasonable and there is a $0 deductible.

AARP Medicare Rx Enhanced PDP is a plan with an enhanced formulary and in addition to including all the medications in the Preferred plan, it also includes many of the less common drugs often required by people with chronic conditions.

The plan is popular because of its expanded formulary and because many generic drugs are covered in the coverage gap. The plan also has a $0 deductible.

A choice between the two plans should not be made until you have thoroughly reviewed the formularies to be certain that all your drugs are included.

If you are interested in AARP Medicare Part D you can enroll in several ways.

You can:

  • Enroll online
  • Enroll over the phone
  • Request an application and mail it
  • Meet with an agent

However you choose to enroll you should follow

the enrollment guidelines and choose your plan after a full review of all features and benefits.


  1. I have used the medicare.gov website Part D Drug calculator and have input all of my prescriptions. It generated data for what I will pay for my medications in all 3 stages of coverage showing AARP Medicare RX Enhanced (PDP). I then called AARP to check the cost of drugs should I enroll in the same plan. I received a different cost than was displayed on the Medicare.gov website calculator. Before making a commitment can I get a print out of what my projected costs will be if I enroll in the AARP Medicare-RX Enhanced (PDP) plan.
    If there is how do I go about receiving it.



  2. I’m shopping for Part D Rx coverage for my 91 year old mother. She only takes 1 prescription at a cost of $6.62/per month.
    Her zip code is 02062, Norwood, Massachusetts.

    I live in Nevada 89014 and would like to confirm that AARP has ZERO monthly premium.

    thanks in advance…..Madeline 598.292.0204

  3. Janet, The difference in data between the Medicare calculator and AARP estimated cost is most likely due to Medicare not being aware of the exact negotiated rate that United HealthCare / AARP has secured. Insurance companies do not pay retail for drugs (or most anything else) and this will affect the figures. I doubt that the Medicare calculator has data on all insurance companies negotiated rates.

    If you spoke with a rep at AARP and they were able to give you a figure based on your drugs, that information should be available to you via fax or email. Give them a call back and ask for the hard data.

  4. Madeline, If your priority is a low price for your mother in Norwood Massachusetts, you might consider the Humana Walmart-Preferred RX Plan (PDP). The monthly premium is touted as the lowest available at $14.80 per month. Make sure that you check the formulary to ensure that her drug is included.

    If you are referring to the Medicare Advantage plan for 2011 in Nevada zip 89014, it is branded as Secure Horizons MedicareComplete and it is available at $0/month. The AARP RX Preferred (PDP) is $38.20/month and the AARP RX Enhanced (PDP) is $91/month. I hope that helps.

  5. I want to use AARP Enhanced medicare Part D begin 2011. My main med is (Cardizem LA 240 1/day). I’m trying to find out – does AARP pay for that drug (I am allergic to the generic)and if so, what does it cost. Can you tell me where to go to find that?

  6. Janice, If you are interested in what drugs the 2011 AARP Medicare RX Enhanced plan covers, visit AARPMedicareRX to search for your drugs and view plan information. Your medication, Cardizem LA is covered as a tier three drug in AARP Enhanced PDP. This is a drug that has quantity limits of one per day, so you should be fine. The cost is going to be based on where you live, as prices differ across the Country. Thanks for the question, I hope this helps.

  7. When I went on line I kept getting -briefly-a screen saying this plan not available in Shiawassee county Michigan. I am referring to the Medicare part d only –the $31.70 one. Could you clarify?

  8. Mary, I did a quick check on http://www.medicare.gov, and 2011 AARP MedicareRX Preferred is available in Shiawassee County Michigan. The premium for 2011 is $31.70. If you were at the AARP MedicareRX site and received the message you indicated, maybe it is because the Annual Enrollment Period for Part D has not begun yet. The Annual Enrollment Period takes place from November 15 through December 31. You are unable to submit an application outside of this enrollment period unless you are entitled to a Special Enrollment Period. Try again during the enrollment period. If you continue to have difficulty, call AARP SecureHorizons at 800 547-5514 8:00AM – 8:00PM, 7 days a week.

  9. If I do not want to change my coverage for 2011 from the AARP Medicare Part D plan do I have to re-enroll?

  10. Charles, No, if you want to stay with your AARP Part D for 2011 and you didn’t receive a notice informing you of your plan’s non-renewal, you do not need to re-enroll. You will be automatically enrolled in the 2011 plan. This would be the case no matter which company you are currently with. People who received a notice on non-renewal from their current Part D provider would be wise to compare 2011 Part D plans.

  11. I use Benicar, metoprolol, rantinpine, metformin, simvastatin, and lansoprazolie once a day. Can you tell me if these drugs are covered under any of your plans, under which tier and in there are daily limits?
    Thank you

  12. So, AARP Medicare Part D plan formularies can vary by State. Visit AARP’s Medicare website to find both a look-up tool as well as complete formularies. This site is not specific to AARP Medicare plans, many Medicare Part D plans, as well as Medicare Advantage plans are highlighted.

  13. I live in Vermont 8 month of the year and in Florida 4 months in the winter. My legal address is Vermont and I have my mail forwarded to Florida in the Winter. The part D insurance I now have marks all letters “Do not Forward” and last year they were going to cancel my policy because I did not advise them of my Move. I now have to call and go through the same problem of explaining twice a year the move is just for the winter and I never change my homested from Vermont. Will I have the same problem with your Part D. I have your medigap insurance and have no problem.

  14. John, In full disclosure, this site is not owned or operated by AARP Medicare. I comment on my plans and items in the news related to Medicare. I know that there are literally thousands of AARP members who are snowbirds. I’m honestly not sure if you will have to make the phone calls. Could you possibly get your medications mail order for 3 months prior to going to Florida? And would a private company like Mail Boxes etc. be a solution to the “do not forward issue”? Sorry I’m not much more help. This is a good reason to work with a local agent who can navigate such issues.

  15. What are the changes in the Part D plan with Medicare Advantage plans? What pharmacies offer $2.00 charge for generic drug?

  16. Alehta, Here is an article on 2011 Medicare Part D that can answer some questions. One positive change is a result of the Health Care Reform legislation. If you reach the donut hole you will only be responsible for 50% of the cost for brand name drugs and 93% of the cost for generic drugs. As far as $2 copay for generic drugs; the pharmacy is not the determining factor, it’s the drug plan that determines copays. Plan availablity will vary depending on your area. You will have to compare 2011 Medicare Advantage Plans to look for the drug coverage that will suit you. If you are interested in a stand-alone drug plan, you can get $2 copays for some generics from the Humana Walmart-Preferred RX Plan or the CVS Caremark Plus PDP if you use preferred pharmacies.

  17. I have to take Lexapro 20mg. & Bupropion 450mg. and omeprazole 20 mg. My husband Wayne takes Bupropion 150lmg, sertraline 100mg, Lisnopp/hctz 10–12 5MTAB. I would like to know what tier these are on. I have to take the Lexapro and Bupropion to control my depression. I would like to know the cost of Part D for both of us. We live in Texas about 6 months and the other 6 months in Iowa.
    Jeannine Hansen

  18. Jeannine, The easiest way to get this information is to visit the AARP Medicare website at http://www.aarpmedicareplans.com. They have a tool available that will allow you to check drug costs. Also, if you enrolled with an agent, they should be able to help you.

  19. I signed up for Plan “D” on-line yesterday and I did not receive any confirmation from you via email. I did however see a confirmation screen, but did not print it out — instead, I click “NEXT” at the bottom of that screen and was sent back to the enrollment screen.

    Please acknowledge via email that you received my application ASAP or advise me if I need to resubmit my application.
    Regards, Joseph.

  20. Joseph, I’m guessing you were at http://www.aarpmedicareplans.com Applications are not accepted on this site, as this is a blog about many Part D Plans as well as information about Medicare Advantage and Medigap insurance.

  21. Please enroll me for 2011 again

  22. If you are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan and do not receive a notice that your plan will not be offered for the following year and you do not submit an application for another plan, your plan will automatically renew.

  23. Does the AARP Medicare PartD plan offer the $2.00 co pay for any drugs? I have seen something about this and can’t find the information now. Thanks.

  24. Bonnie, Yes this is part of United Healthcare’s Pharmacy Saver program. The Pharmacy Saver program allows members in many of the United Healthcare Medicare plans to save money on hundreds of prescription medications, eight of the top 10 generic drugs are included and the most commonly used by United Healthcare’s Medicare plan members. Not all drugs are $2 in the program but many are.

  25. I find signing up for Medicare Rx Plan (Part D) very confusing. I have a Medicare RX ID number but when I call, I am told I am not signed up.
    Please tell me how I may sign up to be eligible to receive Medicare Rx Plan, Part D.
    Thank you

  26. Gerald, If you did not specifically fill out and submit an enrollment form you do not have Medicare Part D. I’m not sure what you mean by a Medicare RX ID number unless you are referring to your Medicare claim number. Becoming eligible for Medicare does not automatically enroll in a Part D Plan.

    If it is within 3 months of the month you tun 65, the month you turn 65 or 3 months after the month you turn 65 you can enroll in any Part D plan. Visit http://www.medicare.gov to compare drug plans. If you are outside of the parameters related to turning 65 and did not enroll during the Annual Election Period for 2011 Part D plans (Nov 15 – Dec 31) you will not be allowed to enroll in Part D for 2011 unless you have a Medicare Part D Special Enrollment Period. If you believe you qualify for a special enrollment period contact a company that offers Part D and let them know of your circumstance.

  27. How does one find the address for 2010 AARP Medicare Plus Preferred? Can’t even find the plan, let alone a website or address. Anyone able to help, please? TIA

  28. Catherine, Here’s the address for AARP Medicare RX Plans:

    AARP Medicare RX Plans
    PO Box 29300
    Hot Springs AR 71903-9300

    Visit them online at http://www.aarpmedicarerx.com or call United Health Care at 800 947-3167.

  29. I have not received my Part D payment copounds for 2011, please help, thanks Ron King

  30. Ron, I’m not sure what you are referring to. Call the 800 # on your AARP Medicare Part D card to get assistance.

  31. We recently enrolled with the Medicare Complete (HMO) from SecureHorizons and now found out that many of the doctors in the booklet do not accept this from SecureHorizons and never have. This is false advertising and misleading to the public. I thought that AARP was more responsible than that.
    I will unenrole as soon as possible. I will have this investigated as soon as I can.

  32. Owen, Contact Secure Horizons customer service to find out why providers are listed that do not accept the AARP Medicare Complete HMO Advantage plan. If you are going to cancel your Medicare Advantage Plan the Annual Dis-enrollment Period is your opportunity. You have until February 14 to dis-enroll. Once you dis-enroll from your Medicare Advantage Plan you will return to original Medicare and would be advised to purchase a stand alone Part D plan. Unless you are entitled to a Special Enrollment Period you will not be able to join another Medicare Advantage plan until the next Annual Enrollment Period. Any new plan will not be effective until January 1, 2012.

  33. I am currently a member of Medicare Part D and I am trying to currently follow my Explanation of Benefits on my computer, however, I keep receiving advertisement to join etc. how do I contact to establish my individual account information from you. I need it for my personal use and cannot wait until you send out your Statement at the end of Feb. 2011. Thank you.

  34. Rachel, This site is not owned or operated by AARP Medicare Plans. If you are currently a member maybe you should make your request via telephone.

  35. How old do you have to be to get Aarp Medicare Plan? I already get Social Security part D for disability>
    Thank you Renna

  36. Renna, Age is not the determining factor to enroll and be a member of AARP Medicare Complete. The requirements are that you have Medicare Part A and B, you live in the plan’s service area and you do not have end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Living in the plan’s service area is a stumbling block for many people who would otherwise be eligible to enroll in an Advantage Plan because not all plans are offered in all service areas.

    It’s also important to note that in most cases, you can join a Medicare Advantage plan only at certain times during the year. The Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) for plans with a 2012 effective date has been moved. Enrollment begins October 15 and ends December 7.

  37. I contacted United Healthcare to determine if my supplemental Select Plan C would cover going to see an obgyn at a women’s center and was told it would. Also my neurosurgeon referred me to an opthamologist and she said all doctors were covered for what medicare doesn’t pay. I also went to Cleveland Clinic and she said that would be paid because it is a clinic not a hospital. True???

  38. Judy, Yes it is as long as the medical services are Medicare covered services. If Medicare is paying 80% the Supplement will pick up the other 20%. The only possible expense in this scenario is if there are Medicare Part B excess charges. Plan C does not cover excess charges.

  39. I have AARP Medicare Complete from Secure Horizon. I have several very similar Identification cards, some from previous years. As far as I can see there is no printed date on any of the cards indicating the coverage period. How might I determine which of my cards was issued this year (2011) so as to know which card is current. Thanks

  40. Gary, the easiest way to determine which card is correct is to visit http://www.aarpmedicareplans.com and select the contact link. The United health Care customer service department should be able to help you.

  41. I am trying to find the site to pay my part d online. Can someone help me?

  42. Hilda, Unless something has recently changed I’m not sure that you can pay your AARP Medicare Part D premium online. Typically Part D premiums are paid one of three ways.
    1. Automatic deduction from your social security check.
    2. Electronic funds transfer (EFT) from you bank account.
    3. Mailing a payment by check with your monthly coupon.
    How did you choose to pay when you enrolled in Part D?

  43. I work for Memorial Hospital in Belleville IL and they recently discontinued our drug benefits. Is there a plan I can join now to get Medicare D coverate or do I have to wait until october

  44. Marilyn, As long as your drug coverage was deemed credible coverage by Medicare and your loss of coverage was due to the employer discontinuing coverage you are entitled to a Special Enrollment Period and will be able to join a Part D plan without waiting until the Annual Enrollment Period.

  45. My parents are current AARP medicare supplement and also have the rx plan. They currently have the regular rx plan and I was wondering about the enhanced rx plan. They are close to being in the coverage gap for this year in the regular plan. If the switch to the enhanced rx plan for next year, will that plan help them not reach the coverage gap as quick or how will that plan really help them in the way?

  46. Pamela, The AARP Enhanced Rx plan includes an expanded formulary. If the basic plan includes all their drugs it wouldn’t make sense to switch. The premium is often more than twice as much as the basic plan. On the plus side you will save a couple dollars in copays and have some Tier 1 benefits in the coverage gap. But generally the math doesn’t add up. The few dollars saved in copay amounts and some Tier 1 coverage in the gap is generally much less than the extra premium.

    Once they reach the coverage gap they will only be responsible for 50% of the brand name costs and 93% of the generic drug costs. This is due to the health care reform legislation that was previously passed.

  47. We are interested in changing insurance plans. We are 68 yrs old and live in Cleveland and sometimes in Florida. Are doctors from Cleveland Clinic on the United Health Care Complete on your list? Our doctors are all from the Clinic and we want to stay with them. When trying to find any doctors on your list and don’t understand it. Can you just find a site that if you put a doctors name in it will show if they are part of United Health Care AARP? We currantly are enrolled in ANTHEM SENIOR Advantage but they are eliminating WALGREENS for prescriptions.

  48. Joanne, I think your best resource to find AARP MedicareComplete providers is http://www.aarpmedicareplans.com. You should be able to do a provider search to determine if UnitedHealthCare AARP MedicareComplete has in-network providers at Cleveland Clinic.

  49. Do you have coverage in St. John U.S Virgin Islands for Medicare Part D. If so how much is the premium. I am low income and the plan I have now there is no deductable.


  50. Kathryn, a quick check of medicare.gov showed three Part D plans in St. Johns Virgin Islands. AARP MedicareRx Preferred is available for $26.10 per month with a $0 deductible.

  51. I turned 65 in March, 2011, but I did NOT enroll in Medicare Part D at that time or thereafter, although I did enroll in Part B as of March 1. My private individual health insurance terminated on March 1, including the drug benefit portion of that insurance.

    I was under the impression that since I have never enrolled in Part D, I can enroll at any time (not just the open enrollment period), but would have to pay a permanent premium increase “penalty” of about $ 0.32 a month (starting three months after I enrolled in Medicare Part B) whenever I decide to enroll in Part D, but that I can enroll in ANY month, effective the following month. Is this true, or am I nevertheless limited to the open enrollment period even if I have never been in Part D before?

  52. Miles, You will only be allowed to enroll during the Open Enrollment Period (October 15th – December 7th) unless you are entitled to a Special Enrollment Period. You had a Special Enrollment Period when your previous plan terminated but that has since expired. The Late Enrollment Penalty will continue to increase if you continue to wait as well.

  53. Reviewing AARP’s re-enrollment changes for 2012 I note that the premium increases 15 percent and tier 1 drugs are reclassed to tier 2 at similar increases. Most alarmingly I note that the mail-order co pay on Metoprolol 100mg ER tablet cost has changed from tier 1 to tier 3 with a resultant increase from $7 to $106 (1500 per cent!). This is either a typo in the chart or outright larceny for this common tier 1 drug of several years. Please advise so I can find an alternate to AARP/United if correct–competitors concur.

  54. David, Many 2012 Part D plan have made changes that have not been well received. Visit medicare.gov to see all plans available in your area.

  55. Estoy buscando un plan Part D para hacer un cambio, necesito la informacion de AARP para la parte D. Utilizo muchisimos medicamentos, y con el plan actual estoy pagando $5.00 de deducible por medicamneto. Los medicamentos que utilizo actualmente son:
    genetec plus NR
    cilostazol 50 mg
    sertraline HCL 25 mg
    losartann/hctz100-12.5 mg
    folic acid 1 mg
    humulin 70/30

    Necesito me envien la informacion para decidir, vi que ustedes tienen un plan con 0 pago…
    Soy socio de AARP

    vitamin D 50,000IU
    gabapentin 300 mg
    humulin 70/30

  56. Clara, Aquí está el sitio Web de lengua español para la Parte de AARP D. Espero que esto ayude.

  57. Not a comment, a question: If I enroll for a Part D policy for my brother-in-law and sister tomorrow (12/08/2011) will they have to pay an extra amount because the enrollment was one day late? Thank you!

  58. Barbara, Unless they are entitled to a Special Election Period you will not be able to submit an application. There is not a provision to pay a penalty for submitting an application late. If they were enrolled in a Part D plan this year and it is renewing for 2012, they will automatically be enrolled in that plan.

  59. My friend was previously covered under the AARP supplemental Rx plan – when his wife was medicare eligible they began deducting the medicare and the AARP Rx directly from her social security check… that was Jan 2011. At that time my friend was under the impression that his was also direct pay. He never received a coupon book and AARP claims to have sent past due notices and also made phone calls… my friend claims he did not receive any mail or phone calls… his AARP supplemental lapsed (which he recently paid up) and he is told he can not enroll until next November – seems to me AARP never sent the past due for his monthly premiums … is there anything we can do or is there any ways to get other Rx supplemental insurance. He is in NY zip 10017
    Thank you!

  60. Susan, Sounds like he said… they said. He could ask for a copy of his Part D application which would show how he c hose to pay premiums. If he did not choose an automatic deduction from Social Security he will have a difficult argument to make. He could contact his local Area Council on Aging office or SHIP to see if they could offer some assistance.

  61. I thought I heard that Medicare extended the enrollment date for 2012 Part D enrollment, is this true? I have an uncle whose company he retired from dropped their Part D coverage on his insurance plan, can he enroll under special cirsumstances? If not does AARP offer a Medicare Part D prescription plan or any other prescription plan to help?

  62. Cathy, If your uncle lost creditable drug coverage with his company effective 12-31-11 he is still within a Special Enrollment Period. He should act soon to secure coverage.

  63. I used to do an Illinois Circuit Breaker every year in order for my mother to get lower prescriptions. They sent her a letter saying that program is ending due to state budget reductions. She received a welcome letter from AARP Medicare RX saying she’s a member along with prescription cards, and then she got a coupon book she has to mail in every month for $34.20. I never enrolled her!! How did this happen?

  64. Donna, If a government program is ending due to funding, they may have enrolled her in order that shew would not be without coverage. Perhaps some notices were either lost or maybe not read. If her plan was ending through no fault of her own, she should have a Special Enrollment Period to choose a new plan. Check with an insurance agent in Illinois who is familiar with this plan ending. Also, If her income is low, she may qualify for some extra help. Check with your local Social Security office to see if she qualifies for help.

  65. My comment is the same as Donnas on 7-5-12. My grandmother was part of Illinois care rx, circuit breaker and then on July 3rd she nd her husband both got UHF AARP payment booklets. Why is it that the only option she has is to enroll in a other program, from a prescribed list of vendors, or pay until October 15, which totals for 2 people over $ 270? I don’t understand why they at allowed to Force someone to either pay or enroll in a similar program and pay still without the option to say, no thank you. How is this legal?

  66. Erica, You may be on to something by questioning the legality of this arrangement. A place to start without incurring legal expenses may be your local Area Council on Aging office. Or you could try to file a complaint with Medicare. I’m not sue that your local elected representative will help, but it’s worth rattling his / her chain as well.

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