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New! COVID 19 Related Enrollment Flexibilities

By May 26, 2020June 5th, 2020Insurance

Original Medicare (Part A and B) Eligibility and Enrollment

New! COVID 19 Related Enrollment Flexibilities

Medicare Part A and Part B Enrollment Equitable Relief for the COVID-19 Pandemic-Related National Emergency

COVID-19 Enrollment Flexibility Announcement

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is taking further action to ensure beneficiaries have access to the critical healthcare coverage they need in the wake of the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) outbreak. CMS may provide “equitable relief” if circumstances described in section 1837(h) of the Social Security Act (the Act) occur. Equitable relief may be in the form of extra time for certain eligible beneficiaries to enroll in Part B or premium-Part A, or refuse automatic Part B enrollment. In addition, eligible beneficiaries would not be subject to a late enrollment penalty for the period between the original enrollment period and the enrollment during this extension of the enrollment period. Beneficiaries are eligible for equitable relief due to the COVID-19 pandemic-related national emergency if they were unable to make their Part A or Part B enrollment choice in a timely manner due to delays and problems with access to the Social Security Administration (SSA) to file an application or enrollment election, as a result of the unexpected closure of field offices due to COVID-19.

See the COVID related FAQs available for download below (PDF)

CMS is granting equitable relief in the form of additional time to use an Initial Enrollment Period (IEP), General Enrollment Period (GEP), or a Special Enrollment Period (SEP)–such as the SEP for when a beneficiary’s enrollment in employer coverage based on current employment ends–in order to file an application for Part B or premium-Part A or refuse Part B. This equitable relief will last from March 17, 2020 through June 17, 2020. Beneficiaries are eligible for this equitable relief if:

  • The beneficiary had an enrollment period during the period from March 17, 2020, through June 17, 2020, that was an IEP, GEP, SEP; and
  • The beneficiary did not apply for Part B (or premium-Part A) or refuse Part B during that IEP, GEP, or SEP.

Eligible beneficiaries who wish to take advantage of the equitable relief must file their enrollment request by June 17, 2020.

Individuals who are eligible and have a valid election period between March 17, 2020, and June 17, 2020, and are not already enrolled in Medicare Part A should apply for Part A online at

Individuals who already have Medicare Part A and wish to sign up for Medicare Part B cannot sign up online. Individuals interested in using the relief to enroll in Medicare Part B coverage who are eligible to apply under the IEP or GEP should complete form CMS-40B and mail the request to their local SSA field office.


Read full press release here.