Understanding Special Enrollment Periods Due to Severe Weather
If you have been affected by inclement weather recently, you may have a special window to make changes to your insurance coverage. January brought record amounts of snow, causing closures and power outages along the East Coast. When weather emergencies such as this one affect so many, it begs the question, what happens when you miss an important deadline to pick up or change coverage? Here’s what you need to know about making changes to your insurance during a declared weather emergency or major disaster.
Now, there are measures in place that grant you extra time to make decisions should a weather-related emergency or major disaster affect you, and at the time of the event were eligible to make changes to your insurance but unable to as a result of the circumstances. If this situation applies to you, you will be granted a Special Election Period (SEP) which you can use during a specified window to make an enrollment decision. The SEP window varies depending on the circumstances surrounding the event, but it usually lasts at least 60 days from the time of the incident.
For example: You recently lost credible coverage and were able to pick up a new plan to replace your previous plan. However, during your window to change plans, you lived in an area that experienced a major disaster. As a result of this disaster, you were unable to access plan options in a timely manner causing you to miss your enrollment window.
So, if you missed your deadline to modify your insurance coverage due to a weather-related emergency or disaster, do not fret. You may qualify to use this Special Election Period. Make sure to explain the situation to your AMAC Medicare Advisor so they can assist you with your insurance options and apply your Special Election Period to your enrollment.
The following areas are still under active disaster declarations:
- Alabama- Severe Storms & Flooding
- Arkansas- Severe storms & tornadoes
- Illinois- Severe storms, wind & tornadoes
- Kentucky- Severe Storms, Straight-line Winds, Flooding, & Tornadoes
- New York- Inclement Weather
- Oklahoma- Cobb Fire
- Tennessee- Severe storms, wind & tornadoes
- Texas- County Line Fire
- Texas- North Fire
- Washington- Flooding & Mudslides
Still not sure if you qualify to use a Special Election Period? AMAC’s Medicare Advisors would be happy to help. Our services are complimentary to all!
For help with Medicare plans – or any questions you may have about Medicare – contact AMAC’s Medicare Advisory Service at 1-855-611-4856 or request a quote below!