Organizations Call on CMS to Ease Medicare Enrollment During the COVID-19 Pandemic

COVID-19; CMS; Medicare

Last week, the Medicare Rights Center and 49 state and national organizations, including AHCA/NCAL, urged CMS to reinstate two policies to help people sign up for Medicare amid the COVID-19 pandemic:  

  • ​A Special Enrollment Period (SEP) for Part C and Part D 
  • Equitable Relief for Premium Part A and Part B 

CMS established these enrollment pathways last May, promoting access to coverage and care during the COVID-19 public health crisis. However, the enrollment flexibilities were allowed to lapse shortly thereafter, despite clear and ongoing needs. 
In the letter, the organizations ask CMS to help by renewing and strengthening the SEP and Equitable Relief flexibilities. The letter includes that these policies should remain in effect through the calendar year in which the emergency period ends, at a minimum, and coverage should begin as soon as possible—no later than the first day of the month following enrollment. You can read the full letter here, and the Medicare Rights Center’s press statement on it.