September 22, 2020
SEP opportunities may be available to Medicare beneficiaries impacted by severe weather
CMS provides a special enrollment period (SEP) for individuals affected by severe weather who need to enroll in, disenroll from or switch Medicare health or prescription drug plans and have missed another enrollment period due to the severe weather. For those who qualify, the SEP begins on the first day of the incident period and runs for four full months from the beginning of the incident period.
Individuals impacted by Hurricane Sally in Mississippi are eligible for a SEP. It runs through January 31, 2021. Impacted counties are shown below. Counties in bold are those within Aetna’s MAPD service area.
Adams, Amite, Covington, Forrest, Franklin, George, Greene, Hancock, Harrison, Jackson, Jefferson, Jefferson Davis, Jones, Lamar, Lawrence, Lincoln, Marion, Pearl River, Perry, Pike, Stone, Walthall, Wayne, Wilkinson
Please note that affected counties can change. For any updates to eligible counties, please refer to https://www.fema.gov/disasters.
Who’s eligible for this SEP?
Individuals will be considered “affected” and eligible for this SEP if they:
- Reside, or resided at the start of the incident period, in an area for which the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has declared an emergency or a major disaster, and has designated affected counties as being eligible to apply for individual or public level assistance;
- Had another valid election period at the time of incident period; and
- Did not make an election during that other valid election period.
Guidance for assisting eligible beneficiaries with this type of SEP
IMPORTANT: You cannot use this SEP opportunity to proactively market to beneficiaries. However, you can assist any clients who contact you about this SEP. Just ensure you follow the instructions below to avoid processing delays.
In the “Reasons for Special Enrollment Period Eligibility” section on the first page of the enrollment application, you’ll want to check the box for a weather-related SEP:
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