Close this search box.

Medicare Part D Enrollment Period Runs Through Year End

Print Article


Medicare Part D (the prescription drug benefit plan begun  last year) includes an annual “election period” from November 15 through the end of the calendar year. Seniors—many of whom struggled to understand the program a year ago and waded through reams of information to select the most promising choice—now must review their existing Part D plan, figure out what changes are in store, and make another selection of the best option available for their individual circumstances.

As was the case last year, there is plenty of information about the plan options facing each Medicare beneficiary. The best collection of information about plan choices comes from the Medicare program itself, which operates a well-designed, understandable and informative website at Among the points made by the Medicare site: the real due date for your Part D selection is December 8, not December 31—you need to make sure your new plan is in effect in time to assure coverage for any January prescription needs.

The upcoming year will provide a number of changes affecting prescription drug coverage. A few of those include:

  • The number of available plans continues to proliferate. In the Tucson area, for example, there will be 53 Prescription Drug Plans, 19 Medicare Health Plans, and 10 Medicare Special Needs Plans available—an increase of 20 total options.
  • Premiums will generally increase. Last year’s premiums for the Tucson area ranged from $6.14 to $64.86 per month, while the 2007 premiums will vary from $10.40 to $78.10.
  • Other costs will also increase, and by more than the rate of general inflation. While Social Security payments, for example, will increase by 3.3% next year, the out-of-pocket costs (not including premiums) for 2007 will increase by 7%. That figure includes a $265 deductible (the 2006 figure was $250), a copayment of the 25% for the next $2,135 (last year the copayment was for just $2,000 of drug costs), and a “donut hole” of $3,051.25 (up from $2,850).

Congress’ switch from Republican to Democratic control may lead to other changes, as well. Democratic leaders have made clear that they expect to immediately address the existing ban on government negotiation of drug prices. One Democratic leader has already introduced a bill that would direct the government to offer and operate a Medicare drug plan of its own. Administration officials argue that both measures conflict with the underlying free-market rationale behind Medicare’s prescription drug program, but it is too early to predict the outcome of that debate.

Stay up to date

Subscribe to our Newsletter to get our takes on some of the situations families, seniors, and individuals with disabilities find themselves in. These posts help guide you in the decision making process and point out helpful tips and nuances to take advantage of. Enter your email below to have our entries sent directly to your inbox!

Robert B. Fleming


Robert Fleming is a Fellow of both the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel and the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. He has been certified as a Specialist in Estate and Trust Law by the State Bar of Arizona‘s Board of Legal Specialization, and he is also a Certified Elder Law Attorney by the National Elder Law Foundation. Robert has a long history of involvement in local, state and national organizations. He is most proud of his instrumental involvement in the Special Needs Alliance, the premier national organization for lawyers dealing with special needs trusts and planning.

Robert has two adult children, two young grandchildren and a wife of over fifty years. He is devoted to all of them. He is also very fond of Rosalind Franklin (his office companion corgi), and his homebound cat Muninn. He just likes people, their pets and their stories.

Elizabeth N.R. Friman


Elizabeth Noble Rollings Friman is a principal and licensed fiduciary at Fleming & Curti, PLC. Elizabeth enjoys estate planning and helping families navigate trust and probate administrations. She is passionate about the fiduciary work that she performs as a trustee, personal representative, guardian, and conservator. Elizabeth works with CPAs, financial professionals, case managers, and medical providers to tailor solutions to complex family challenges. Elizabeth is often called upon to serve as a neutral party so that families can avoid protracted legal conflict. Elizabeth relies on the expertise of her team at Fleming & Curti, and as the Firm approaches its third decade, she is proud of the culture of care and consideration that the Firm embodies. Finding workable solutions to sensitive and complex family challenges is something that Elizabeth and the Fleming & Curti team do well.

Amy F. Matheson


Amy Farrell Matheson has worked as an attorney at Fleming & Curti since 2006. A member of the Southern Arizona Estate Planning Council, she is primarily responsible for estate planning and probate matters.

Amy graduated from Wellesley College with a double major in political science and English. She is an honors graduate of Suffolk University Law School and has been admitted to practice in Arizona, Massachusetts, New York, and the District of Columbia.

Prior to joining Fleming & Curti, Amy worked for American Public Television in Boston, and with the international trade group at White & Case, LLP, in Washington, D.C.

Amy’s husband, Tom, is an astronomer at NOIRLab and the Head of Time Domain Services, whose main project is ANTARES. Sadly, this does not involve actual time travel. Amy’s twin daughters are high school students; Finn, her Irish Red and White Setter, remains a puppy at heart.

Famous people's wills

Matthew M. Mansour


Matthew is a law clerk who recently earned his law degree from the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law. His undergraduate degree is in psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Matthew has had a passion for advocacy in the Tucson community since his time as a law student representative in the Workers’ Rights Clinic. He also has worked in both the Pima County Attorney’s Office and the Pima County Public Defender’s Office. He enjoys playing basketball, caring for his cat, and listening to audiobooks narrated by the authors.