Special enrollment opportunities may be available to Medicare beneficiaries impacted by natural disasters.
A special enrollment period (SEP) exists for individuals affected by a weather-related emergency or major disaster who were unable to, and did not make an election during another valid election period. This includes both enrollment and disenrollment elections. The SEP is available from the start of the incident period and for four full calendar months thereafter.
Individuals impacted by severe storms and flooding in Alabama and Mississippi are eligible for this SEP. It runs through June 30, 2019. Impacted counties are shown below.
- Alabama: Blount, Cherokee, Colbert, DeKalb, Franklin, Greene, Jackson, Lamar, Madison, Marion, Morgan, Winston
- Mississippi: Alcorn, Calhoun, Carroll, Chickasaw, Clay, Grenada, Itawamba, Lafayette, Lee, Lowndes, Montgomery, Panola, Pontotoc, Prentiss, Quitman, Tallahatchie, Tishomingo, Union, Webster, Yalobusha
Please note that affected counties can change. For any updates to eligible counties, please refer to https://www.fema.gov/disasters.
Who's eligible for this SEP?
Individuals will be considered "affected" and eligible for this SEP if they:
- Reside, or resided at the start of the incident period, in an area for which the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has declared an emergency or a major disaster, and has designated affected counties as being eligible to apply for individual or public level assistance;
- Had another valid election period at the time of incident period; and
- Did not make an election during that other valid election period.
In addition, the SEP is available to those individuals who don’t live in the affected areas, but rely on help making health care decisions from friends or family members who live in the affected areas.
Guidance for assisting eligible beneficiaries with this type of SEP
IMPORTANT: You cannot use this SEP opportunity to proactively market to beneficiaries. However, you can assist any clients who contact you about this SEP. Just ensure you follow the instructions below to avoid processing delays.
In the “Confirm your enrollment period” section of the application, check the box for:
"I was affected by a weather-related emergency or major disaster (as declared by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)). One of the other statements here applied to me, but I was unable to make my enrollment because of the natural disaster."
If you have any questions please call MESSER Financial Group's Producer Support team today at 866-568-9649!