Seniors Affected by COVID-19 Pandemic Have More Time to Apply for Medicare

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Seniors Affected by COVID-19 Pandemic Have More Time to Apply for Medicare

If you are in the State of New Jersey and would like to discuss your estate plan, our team at Willis Law Group LLC is here to provide you with any assistance that you may need. We are pleased to now also offer Snap Estate Plan services, where you can acquire Attorney-Drafted Estate Plans from the comfort of your own home. To schedule a virtual consultation with us, give our main office a call at (877) 296-2575.

The closure of Social Security offices has caused some serious problems and worries for recently unemployed seniors who need to apply for Medicare after losing their employer coverage. In response to these hardships, the federal government has announced that seniors affected by the crisis have additional time to enroll in Medicare or change their plans.

With millions of people out of work and losing their employer-provided health insurance due to the coronavirus pandemic, the need for Medicare coverage has become even more critical. While it is possible for some seniors to apply for Medicare online, others may need to provide more information. This includes individuals who did not sign up for Medicare Part B initially because they had health insurance through an employer. Seniors who are applying for Medicare Part B after losing their job need to provide proof of their employer policy, along with their Medicare application, to ensure they are not subject to substantial penalties. With Social Security offices closed, Medicare applicants may have trouble figuring out how to submit the necessary information or get answers to questions about their application.

As a result of this, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced changes to Medicare enrollment periods in order to help seniors affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Those who missed their opportunity to enroll in Medicare will now have additional time to apply.

CMS is providing “equitable relief” to:

  • Seniors who were in their Initial Enrollment Period (IEP), General Enrollment Period (GEP), or Special Enrollment Period (SEP) between March 17, 2020, and June 17, 2020.
  • And did not submit an enrollment request to the Social Security Administration (SSA).

Seniors now have until June 17, 2020, to apply for Medicare. Applications can be submitted via fax to 1-833-914-2016 or mailed to their local SSA field office. Although SSA offices are closed for in-person services, offices are still processing applications received by mail.

Additionally, CMS has announced an SEP for people to make changes to their Medicare Advantage and prescription drug plans if they missed the open enrollment period or a special enrollment period due to the coronavirus pandemic. The SEP has been extended until July 13, 2020.

By |2020-05-14T17:43:32-05:00May 14th, 2020|Estate Planning, Long-Term Care, Medicaid Planning, Retirement Accounts|

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