To enroll in a Part D plan you must be enrolled in either Part A or Part B of Original Medicare. To qualify for Original Medicare you must be 65 or over (and meet the residence requirements) or have been on Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) for at least 24 months. There are also exceptions for people who have been diagnosed with ERSD (End-Stage Renal Disease) or ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis).
ESRD Exception – You are eligible for Medicare no matter how old you are if you meet all of the following criteria:
- Your kidneys are no longer functioning
- You need regular dialysis treatments or have had a kidney transplant
- One of the following applies to you:
- You have worked the required amount of time under Social Security, the Railroad Retirement Board, or as a government employee
- You are eligible for or already received Social Security or Railroad Retirement benefits
- You are the spouse or the dependent child of a person who meets either of the requirements listed
- For more information please see Medicare.gov regarding End-Stage Renal Disease
ALS Exception – The 24-month waiting period is waived for Medicare coverage for disabled individuals medically determined to have Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), better known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. The date of Medicare entitlement is based on the date of a diagnosis of ALS, or July 1, 2001, whichever is later. This provision affects both new and current beneficiaries.