Medicare Enrollment Deadline Extended – For Some
Kaiser Health News reports that federal officials are extending this Dec. 7 deadline for at least two days -- but only to those seniors who contact any of several sources of assistance.
Kaiser Health News: Medicare Extends Enrollment Deadline For Some
Reporting for Kaiser Health News, Susan Jaffe writes: "Federal officials are extending the Dec. 7 deadline for two days for some people enrolling in a Medicare prescription drug or private health plan because of the crush of last-minute sign-ups. But a spokesman for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid said the 'increased flexibility' is limited only to seniors who contact any of several sources of assistance on or before the close of business Wednesday: counselors with the government-funded State Health Insurance Information Program (SHIP), Medicare's toll-free information line, 1-800-633-4227; and other Medicare-partner organizations such as the Medicare Rights Center, local agencies on aging, and the National Council on Aging. They can leave messages if necessary requesting help. Then, starting on Thursday, those beneficiaries will be called back and will receive assistance. All 'call-back enrollments' must be completed before 12:01 a.m. Sunday, the spokesman said" (Jaffe, 12/7).
Meanwhile, other news organizations offer reminders that the enrollment window is closing and analyze whether the new timing for the enrollment period will hurt Medicare Advantage plans.
Boston Globe: Medicare Open Enrollment Ends Tomorrow
For all those who are on Medicare, here's a reminder that tomorrow is the deadline to enroll in a new plan or renew your old one. The open enrollment period ends on December 7 this year instead of New Year's Eve, the deadline in previous years (Kotz, 12/7).
CQ HealthBeat: Could Earlier End To Medicare Open Enrollment Hurt MA Plans?
Despite a heavy barrage of advertising by the federal government and private insurers, there's some question about whether Medicare beneficiaries will meet this year's earlier deadline to enroll in Medicare Advantage and Part D prescription drug plans. Under the health care law, the deadline is now Dec. 7, instead of Dec. 31. Supporters of the change say it gives seniors more time to understand how their coverage works before it takes effect at the turn of the year (Reichard, 12/6).