Each year, millions of people have the opportunity to review their healthcare coverage during Medicare annual open enrollment, which ends Dec. 7. “But Hurricane Sandy’s incredible damage on the East Coast has caused widespread disruption for many people,” said Paula Muschler, manager of the Allsup Medicare Advisor®, a Medicare plan selection service for Medicare-eligible individuals.
“CMS realizes the huge impact and they are allowing beneficiaries additional time to make their choices and then enroll in Medicare for next year. This includes people whose family members were affected by the storm, especially if those family members help you with your healthcare decisions,” Muschler explained.
Extra Time For Medicare Plan Choices, Enrollment
Allsup outlines the following information for Medicare participants, who now have more time to compare their Medicare plan options and make a selection for 2013 healthcare coverage.
Who gets extra time for Medicare annual enrollment?
Anyone affected by Hurricane Sandy is being provided extra time for Medicare enrollment. This includes individuals living in the affected area as well as those who, “rely on help making healthcare decisions from friends or family members who live in the affected areas,” according to CMS. No proof is required in order to have additional time.
How much time do people have?
Medicare is urging people to try to make their enrollment decisions by Dec. 7, if they can. Those who cannot should try to enroll as quickly as they can after Dec. 7. Officials have not set a new deadline. If you enroll in a new plan, coverage under this plan will begin the first day of the month after you enroll. For example, if you enroll on Jan. 10, your plan coverage will begin Feb. 1. You will be automatically re-enrolled in your current plan if you don’t enroll in a new one for 2013.
What action is needed to get more time?
To enroll in a plan after Dec. 7, participants must call Medicare at (800) MEDICARE. TTY users may call (877) 486-2048. Allsup recommends calling once Medicare participants have decided on the plans they want to enroll in for 2013.. Allsup Medicare specialists are standing by to assist those affected by Hurricane Sandy, and they can help individuals, families and caregivers with choosing and enrolling in Medicare coverage for 2013.
Can I get some help?
Medicare beneficiaries who would like one less thing to worry about can contact Medicare specialists at Allsup Medicare Advisor®
Allsup Medicare specialists work with individuals one-on-one to research all their plan options and help determine the coverage that best meets their needs.
“With people still recovering from Hurricane Sandy and the holidays approaching, we can help lessen the worries and burden,” Muschler said. “Allsup’s Medicare plan selection service is an easy and affordable way to help people ensure they are making a good decision about their Medicare plans (http://www.allsup.com/
Reach a Medicare specialist with your questions or for an evaluation of your Medicare plan options, by calling Allsup Medicare Advisor at (866) 521-7655.
Find additional information at Medicare.Allsup.com.
Allsup is a nationwide provider of Social Security disability, veterans disability appeal, Medicare and Medicare Secondary Payer compliance services for individuals, employers and insurance carriers. Founded in 1984, Allsup employs more than 800 professionals who deliver specialized services supporting people with disabilities and seniors so they may lead lives that are as financially secure and as healthy as possible. The company is based in Belleville, Ill., near St. Louis. For more information, go to http://www.Allsup.com or visit Allsup on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/
The information provided is not intended as a substitute for legal or other professional services. Legal or other expert assistance should be sought before making any decision that may affect your situation.