Medicare Extends Open Enrollment Period For People Affected By Sandy
I just got some good news from The Medicare News Group for Medicare beneficiaries who are still coping with damage from Hurricane Sandy in the northeast:
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has extended the December 7 deadline to enroll in a private medical or prescription drug plan for next year if you have been affected by Hurricane Sandy.
According to CMS, beneficiaries hit by the storm can still enroll after the midnight Dec. 7 deadline if they call Medicare’s 24-hour information line,1-800-Medicare (1-800-633-4227). Representatives will be able to review available plans and complete the enrollment process with them over the phone. Medicare officials have not set a new deadline but are encouraging beneficiaries to make their decisions soon if possible.
The opportunity to enroll in a plan after Open Enrollment ends on December 7 applies to everyone affected by Hurricane Sandy, including those who do not live in the affected areas but rely on help making healthcare decisions from friends or family members who do live in the affected areas.
“This is a really important recognition by CMS to accommodate Medicare enrollees affected by Hurricane Sandy,” said Leslie Fried, director for policy and programs at the National Council on Aging, a Washington, D.C., advocacy group. I wholeheartedly agree.