NEWS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 12, 2017

Statement by Joe Baker, President of the Medicare Rights Center, on Extension of Needed Relief for Marketplace Enrollees Who Missed Medicare Enrollment

New York, NY—Today the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a year-long extension, through September 30, 2018, of a critical exception for certain Marketplace enrollees who delayed or declined Medicare enrollment. This process—known as time-limited equitable relief—lifts the burden of lifetime late enrollment penalties and gaps in health coverage for people with Marketplace plans who mistakenly missed signing up for Medicare.

With today’s announcement, CMS heeded the call of consumer advocates, insurers, and health care providers who agreed that this important relief should be extended. Our national helpline continues to help people apply for time-limited equitable relief. People hampered by costly penalties and going without needed health care will benefit from today’s smart decision.

We applaud CMS for doing right by people new to Medicare, and we look forward to working with our agency partners, State Health Insurance Assistance Programs (SHIPs), local Social Security Offices, and others to help people access this critical relief.

For more information on time-limited equitable relief and how to apply, see Medicare Rights’ online resource, Medicare Interactive, and:

  • Read the Fact Sheet updated by CMS
  • Call the Medicare Rights Center’s free national helpline at 1-800-333-4114
  • Call the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) at 1-877-839-2675 or visit the shiptacenter.org
  • Contact the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213, or go to socialsecurity.gov, or visit your local Social Security office

Press Contact: Mitchell Clark – mclark@medicarerights.org

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Medicare Rights Center is a national, nonprofit consumer service organization that works to ensure access to affordable health care for older adults and people with disabilities through counseling and advocacy, educational programs, and public policy initiatives.

Available only through the Medicare Rights Center, Medicare Interactive (MI) is a free and independent online reference tool that provides easy-to-understand answers to questions posed by people with Medicare, their families and caregivers, and the professionals serving them. Find your Medicare answers at www.medicareinteractive.org.

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