The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has extended a Special Election Period (SEP) to Medicare beneficiaries affected by the wildfires in CA. The SEP runs till Dec. 31, 2017.
Who is eligible?
Any beneficiary who resides in, or resided in, an area for which the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has declared an emergency or major disaster (see www.fema.gov/disasters or the list below*) is eligible for the SEP, if the beneficiary was unable to enroll in a plan during another qualifying election period. In addition, beneficiaries who do not live in the impacted areas but receive assistance from someone living in one of the affected areas also qualify for this SEP.
*FEMA declared an emergency or major disaster for the following counties:
What does this mean for beneficiaries?
Normally, Medicare beneficiaries only have till December 7th to make changes to their Part C (Medicare Advantage) or Part D (Drug) plans. Eligible beneficiaries who are unable to make a plan selection during the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) have until Dec. 31, 2017, to enroll in a 2018 Plan. Enrollments taken between Dec. 8th and Dec. 31st 2017, will be effective Jan. 1st 2018.
- Individuals must show proof that the beneficiary resided in an affected area (e.g., driver’s license or utility bill reflecting the beneficiary’s address).
- If the beneficiary is unable to provide proof, ask the beneficiary if they attest that they lived/live in an area impacted by the wildfires.
- Once eligibility is verified, the application can proceed.
- Only paper applications can be used. Use the SEP election type code on the application, and write in ‘Weather Related Emergency’ or ‘Fire’.
If you are not sure if you fall under these guidelines, give us a call and we can check for you – 323.455.4961.