The Fall Open Enrollment Period for Medicare Advantage and Part D plans takes place from October 15-December 7. However, Hurricane Sandy affected many parts of the Northeast, leaving many people with Medicare unable to choose on a new plan during this time. For that reason, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is allowing those affected by Hurricane Sandy to enroll into stand-alone Part D plans or Medicare Advantage plans outside of the Fall Open Enrollment Period.
You don't need to prove that you live in an area affected by Sandy to be eligible for the extended enrollment period. The extension also applies to people who don’t live in the affected area but rely on help making health care decisions from friends or family members who live in the affected areas.
There is no time limit after Fall Open Enrollment has ended for people to enroll into a new plan using the extended Open Enrollment Period.
How To Enroll If you Need Extra Time
If you were affected by Hurricane Sandy and need extra time to enroll in a drug or health plan after December 7, you should call 800-MEDICARE anytime, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Your coverage should begin on the first of the month after you enroll into the plan. This means that if you call 800-MEDICARE to enroll into a new plan before December 31, 2012, your plan coverage will most likely begin on January 1, 2013.
In addition to the extended Open Enrollment Period, Medicare private plans (Part D and Medicare Advantage) must comply with certain requirements during a Federal disaster or public health emergency. Please click here for more information.