Healthcare SEP may benefit 15 million Americans. Could Medicare beneficiaries be next?

By Medicare Benefits - February 5, 2021

Last week, President Joe Biden announced a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) that could benefit millions of uninsured Americans. The executive order, signed on January 28, 2021, re-opened the federal healthcare marketplace. Giving people who are currently uninsured, a 90 day window to enroll in a healthcare plan. Medicare beneficiaries are as yet unaffected.

Research from the Kaiser Family Foundation suggests this change could benefit approximately 15 million Americans. With 8.9 million people qualifying for some form of financial assistance and a further 4 million eligible for a $0 bronze plan.

Low-cost bronze plans reduce the amount a policy holder has to pay if they need medical attention. They also cover preventative services including immunizations and screenings for COVID-19. Vital tools in slowing the spread of the pandemic.

Whilst the President has yet to announce a nationwide SEP for people on Medicare, those affected by a FEMA declared emergency (like a wildfire, severe storm or other disaster) may qualify for a localised Medicare SEP, and should speak to a licensed agent.

So without a Medicare SEP on the immediate horizon, when can you make a switch?


Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period (MA OEP)

If you are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, you can change to a new plan once during MA OEP. Which runs from January 1 to March 31.

With CMS reporting a 76.7% increase in the number of Medicare Advantage plans available since 2017, there could be new plans available in your area that offer you more, and cost you less.

You can find out what's available where you live using our plan finder. Or call us at (866) 576-2956 or (TTY: 711) and our fully licensed agents will help you find a plan that meets your needs.


Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP)

AEP runs from October 15 to December 7, and gives all Medicare beneficiaries the opportunity to change their plan.

Those enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, or a Part D prescription drug plan, receive an ANoC letter from their plan provider every September that details any changes to plan coverage or costs.

At the same time providers announce new and updated Medicare plans for the year ahead. Giving beneficiaries time to explore their options before AEP opens on October 15.

Sign up to the Medicare Benefits newsletter and we’ll let you know as soon as new plans become available.


Special Circumstances/Special Enrollment Periods

Special Enrollment Periods let you make changes to your Medicare Advantage or Part D prescription drug plan under special circumstances. Like when you move home or lose other health insurance coverage.

Those affected by a FEMA declared emergency (like a wildfire, severe storm or other disaster) may also qualify for a SEP.

If your circumstances have changed and you think you may qualify for a SEP, call us today at (866) 576-2956 or (TTY: 711). Our team of fully licensed agents are here to help find a plan that's right for you.

Ready to find a plan?

“I’m Mary-Beth*. I can carefully walk you through our step-by-step process to help you find a plan that meets your needs.”

Find a plan* Mary-Beth is a digital avatar and not a licensed sales agent.

“I’m Mary-Beth*. I can carefully walk you through our step-by-step process to help you find a plan that meets your needs.”

Find a plan* Mary-Beth is a digital avatar and not a licensed sales agent.

Prefer to talk?

You can talk to one of our friendly licensed sales agents on the phone during our opening hours. They're fully trained and happy to help. No question is too small!

(866) 576-2956 or TTY 711

Mon to Fri 5am - 8pm PT
Sat 6 - 6PT
Sun Closed

Still have questions?

Our Advice Center contains important information you should know about Medicare. So if you have a question, the answer is just a click away.

Visit our Advice Center


I wish I’d known this before I bought my plan…

Helpful things callers learn from our sales agents

image description

There can be penalties if you don’t sign up for Medicare Part B when you’re first eligible to enroll.

Andrew Sivatjian
V.P. of Medicare Sales & Licensed Agent
image description

Some people think they’re stuck with the first plan they choose. They’re not. They can change to a new plan during the enrollment periods.

Silvia Barrera
Sales Manager & Licensed Agent
image description

I often explain to callers who are concerned about the cost of prescription drugs, that there are specific plans that can help reduce how much they have to pay.

Mark Laemmert
Medicare Site Leader & Licensed Agent