Special Enrollment Periods for States Impacted by Hurricanes
October 2017 ~
On September 28, CMS announced that it will open special enrollment periods for all Medicare beneficiaries and qualifying individuals who are seeking coverage through the Federal Health Insurance Exchange, allowing those impacted by recent hurricanes to alter their plans or gain coverage.
The Medicare special enrollment period permits those affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria to enroll, disenroll, or change to another Medicare health or prescription drug plan. It is available at the start of the incident period and runs through the end of the calendar year (December 31st, 2017).
For individuals impacted by the hurricanes who need to enroll in a 2017 plan through the Exchange or make changes to their existing 2017 plan, the Federal Health Insurance Exchange special enrollment period will apply to individuals who experienced a special enrollment period qualifying event between 60 days prior to the start date of the incident period and December 31, 2017, but were unable to complete the application, plan selection, and enrollment process due to a hurricane-related weather event in 2017. This special enrollment period will allow individuals impacted by the storms to select a new 2017 Exchange plan or make changes to their existing plan at any time through December, 31st, 2017.
“The lives of millions of Americans have been disrupted and impacted in some way by recent hurricanes,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma. “Setting up special enrollment periods gives Medicare beneficiaries and individuals seeking coverage on the federal exchange the opportunity to access health coverage during this difficult time and when they need it the most. We remain committed to doing all we can to help support the areas and individuals affected by these historic and catastrophic hurricanes.”
Source(s): CMS Press Release; Fierce Healthcare; AHA News; United Press International;