Healthcare SEP may benefit 15 million Americans

Medicare Benefits Solutions
Feb 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.

Do You Qualify for Financial Assistance?

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 policyholder 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 another disaster) may qualify for a localized 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 888-725-1780 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 and 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 888-725-1780 or (TTY: 711). Our team of fully licensed agents are here to help find a plan that’s right for you.

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